Business World

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Volkswagen scandal: 3.6m 1.6 litre cars hit in Europe, company contacts Irish customers with update

Volkswagen Ireland contacts thousands of owners hit by scandal, says it will give regular updates

Volkswagen was the most popular make for new private cars last month
Volkswagen was the most popular make for new private cars last month

Roughly 3.6 million Volkswagen cars in Europe with 1.6-litre engines will require hardware changes in the wake of the company's diesel emissions rigging scandal, a spokesman for the German transport ministry said on Friday.

The move comes as Volkswagen Ireland contacted thousands of its customers hit by the emissions scandal - the company has said 80,000 customers here affected.

"We wish to assure you that we are working at full speed to find a technical solution and we will cover the cost relating directly to this repair. Please remember that your car is technically safe and roadworthy," the emailed message stated.

"We will also be in touch with you directly to explain what steps are required.

"In the meantime if you have queries on the above, please contact our Customer Care team at 1800 227243," it added.

The company is expected next week to provide U.S. and California regulators with a preliminary attempt at a software fix for the defeat devices it installed in 2012-2014 Passats, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

Meanwhile, the number of new Volkswagen cars sold in Ireland in the month of September jumped by 43pc when compared with the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Volkswagen has been embroiled in an emissions scandal since September 3, when it came to light to US authorities that the company had installed 'defeat device' software.

Volkswagen has reported minor increases in sales for the month of September in the US.

It is understood, however, that these sales figures were protected by both advance deposits and the timing of the scandal, with the true magnitude of it not being revealed until later in the month.

The defeat device software detected when cars were being tested and made them appear to produce less dangerous emissions.

As a result of the worldwide scandal, tens of thousands of Irish cars are being recalled, along with millions worldwide.

However, consumers appear to have shrugged off the scandal so far.

The number of new Volkswagen cars licensed in September was 845, up from 591 in September 2014.

The increase in new Volkswagen cars sold is surprising given the scale of the scandal which has seen the company's chief executive officer, Martin Winterkorn, step down.

Overall the number of new cars licensed in September, which was 5,924, is up 35.4pc when compared with the same period last year.

This year has seen a jump in the number of new cars licensed. So far this year 114,446 new cars have been sold, up 31.7pc from the first nine months of last year.

That's a total of 27,552 extra new cars sold.

So far in 2015, the number of new cars licensed has been greater in every single month compared to the same month last year.

Volkswagen continued to be the most popular car manufacturer for September as it accounted for 14.3pc of all new cars licensed.

Audi, Seat and Skoda, who are all part of the Volkswagen group, had 305, 121 and 389 cars sold respectively.

The latest figures also reveal that 70pc of all cars sold this year were diesel fuelled.

Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Opel also all made significant contributions to the over all number of cars licensed.

German manufacturer, Opel, had 427 new cars licensed while Ford, Toyota and Nissan had 545, 494 and 488 respectively.

Year on year the sale of new petrol cars in September rose by 42pc. There were 1,549 new petrol cars licensed in September of this year while there were 4,241 diesel cars licensed in the same month.

Petrol cars are increasing in popularity with more and more manufacturers aiming to make their petrol offerings more economical.

The increase in popularity can be seen in new cars sold in the first nine months of this year. From January to September of this year there were 31,365 new petrol cars sold, an increase of 42pc when compared with the same period last year.

The number of diesel cars licensed also saw an increase but not as substantial.

In the first nine months there were 81,157 new diesel cars licensed, up 27.6pc on the same period last year.

It may be October before we see the real effect of the scandal that has affected 11 million of its cars worldwide.

Online Editors

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