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Volkswagen Australia announces diesel recall

Fix in progress: VW Australia and Audi Australia have pushed the ‘go’ button on recalling the masses of EA189-powered cars that were supplied with emissions test-beating software.

Australia first to recall more than 77,000 dieselgate-affected Volkswagens, Audis

9 Oct 2015

UPDATED 12:40VOLKSWAGEN Australia has become the first VW subsidiary in the world to announce a voluntary recall of vehicles fitted with emissions testing-defeating defeat devices – before a fix for the problem has been confirmed.

It has been joined by stablemate Audi Australia, who announced its own voluntary recall at around the same time.

The companies have today announced they will start contacting customers regarding rectification repair, which will vary depending on the age of the vehicle and powertrain specification. The scandal is believed to have started in 2008.

In a statement, Volkswagen Australia has apologised to its owners, dealer and staff for “any disappointment and inconvenience”.

Outgoing chief executive officer John White – whose two-year tenure started with a large-scale DSG recall and ends in the midst of the ‘dieselgate’ crisis – said the company will fully support customers affected by the issue.

“I want to assure all customers that the affected cars are technically safe and the necessary measures will be undertaken at no cost to them,” said Mr White.

“We will do everything we can to fix this problem and regain the trust of our customers.”

Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle, meanwhile, said the company is committed to supporting its customers, and to making sure that affected vehicles are fixed as soon as possible.

“Understandably our customers are concerned, and we apologise for this,” he said.

The statements also point customers to the VIN tool on the relevant companies’ websites, where owners of Volkswagens and Audis can establish if their cars are affected. Skoda owners can search for affected vehicles via Skoda’s site.

GoAuto understands that any affected vehicle, regardless of the state of ownership, will be accepted for repairs if required.

Even though the recall is now officially in place, there is still no fix available to solve the issue, which is linked to the car’s engine management system.

Some 78,445 Volkswagen vehicles are affected in Australia, with the company announcing that an additional 6444 passenger vehicles have been added to the total, following information from Volkswagen AG overnight.

The count now includes 61,189 passenger and 17,256 VW commercial vehicles. The group tally stands at 97,621 when Skoda and Audi vehicles are accounted for.

A ‘cheat code’ or defeat device has been installed in the car’s ECU which allows the car to provide a false emissions reading while under test, before resorting to a better performing but less emissions-friendly tune when in motion.

Volkswagen US chief executive officer Michael Horn told a United States congressional hearing in Washington yesterday that first-generation 2.0-litre EA189 engine-equipped cars will not only need a software amendment, but hardware changes, as well.

Second- and third-generation EA189 engines should respond to software changes, though this is yet to be confirmed. Neither Volkswagen Australia nor Audi Australia was unable to provide GoAuto with specific tallies of vehicles that may be fitted with the first-generation 2.0-litre engine locally.

Mr Horn said that the use of the defeat software in diesel cars was not a corporate decision, but something that “individuals did.”“This was a couple of software engineers who put this in for whatever reason,” he said.

Several key Volkswagen Group management figures have resigned or have been suspended over the scandal, which involves 11 million VW-branded vehicles globally, and which has wiped out a third of the company’s stock market value.

Summary of Volkswagen vehicles to be recalled
ModelYears sold
Passenger cars (61,189 total)
Passat CC2008-2012
Volkswagen CC2011-2015
Skoda (5,148 total)
Commercial Vehicles (17,256 total)
(New diesel Volkswagen Golf 7, Touareg, Amarok, Transporter and Crafter models are currently not affected new diesel Skoda Octavia generation 3 models are currently not affected all petrol models currently available are not affected)

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