Thursday 19 September 2019

Surge in imports swells number of VW Group cars requiring 'fix'

High volume of UK second-hands meeting targets

VW mechanic
VW mechanic
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

The number of Volkswagen Group cars and vans voluntarily recalled for 'fixes' under the so-called 'dieselgate' scandal has soared due to the spiralling volume of imports that need work carried out.

The numbers have surged to 151,186 from an initial estimate of 115,000 or so vehicles believed to be involved one way or another with the saga.

That means the percentage completion rate of all vehicles is now running at 69pc, according to the latest official Volkswagen Group figures obtained by Independent Motors.

They show that, out of the current total of 151,186 (original Irish and imports), Volkswagen passenger cars are running at 71pc completion with Audi at 70pc, SEAT 71pc and Skoda on 68pc.

In the meantime, work on Volkswagen commercial vehicles has a 59pc completion rate so far.

But when imports are taken out of the equation the number of original Irish cars which have had work carried out comes to 83,341, according to the latest figures.

That is 74pc of the total anticipated to need some work carried out under the voluntary recall.

For individual marques it means Volkswagen has a 77pc completion rate at this stage, with Audi on 75pc, SEAT on 75pc, Skoda on 71pc and Volkswagen commercial vehicles at 61pc. However, the percentage drops substantially for imports, which of course are continuing to pour in at a significant rate. So far 67,845 imports have been treated, making for a completion rate of 64pc.

They comprise Volkswagen cars 64pc, Audi 66pc, SEAT 58pc and Skoda 56pc, with VW commercial vehicles on 49pc.

As you can see, there are four marques (Audi, VW, SEAT and Skoda) and three diesel engines involved in the exercise.

The 2-litre TDis engines require a software update.

Work on those is estimated to take around half an hour or so.

Work on the 1.2-litre TDi engines also takes in or around 30 minutes.

However, those vehicles with 1.6-litre TDI engines involve both software and hardware upgrades.

As a result, they take an hour or so to be sorted out.

The hardware involves fitting a new flow transformer to help better regulate how fuel and air are burned in the engine.

But as the new figures show, the level of imports is having a serious knock-on effect.

It is estimated that initial estimates for Audi, for example, have nearly doubled over the period of the recall.

Ultimately, it means that the full completion date remains something of a moving target, given that the number of imports for this year is expected to hit the 100,000 mark.

The Volkswagen emissions scandal began in September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the company intentionally programmed diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing.

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