Recalled Volkswagen TDI Diesel Engines to be Repaired by End of Next Year: CEO

The new CEO of Volkswagen announced this week that the company will begin recalling VW and Audi TDI diesel vehicles in January, with a goal of fixing all emissions issues by the end of 2016. 

The German automaker has been humiliated by the discovery that 11 million supposedly “clean diesel” vehicles have software installed that was designed to cheat on emissions testing.

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took action that led to a Volkswagen TDI diesel recall impacting nearly half a million VW and Audi vehicles sold in the United States.

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Volkswagen Diesel Lawsuits

Owners of certain Audi and VW TDI Diesel vehicles may be entitled to financial compensation.


Last week, VW Chief Executive Matthias Mueller told German media that it would begin updating the software and fixing the vehicles in January, with all recall repairs expected to be complete by the end of next year. However, it is unclear whether that schedule will apply to vehicles sold in the U.S., as Volkswagen has to meet more stringent standards set by the EPA.

On September 18, the EPA issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act against Volkswagen and Audi, claiming that certain vehicles equipped with four-cylinder diesel engines had “defeat devices,” which involve software that detects when the vehicle was being tested for emissions. This placed the vehicles into a “clean emissions” mode to successfully pass the tests, but once the test was over, the vehicle began polluting again, at rates as high as 40 times that allowed by the EPA.

During this time, VW promoted the vehicles as “clean diesel” hybrids that were better for the environment and which got better gas mileage. However, when the accusations came to light, VW officials admitted to the problem.

The EPA says the company could face up to $18 billion in fines, and it’s previous CEO and a number of other key company employees have stepped down or been fired as a result.

Mueller said he does not believe his predecessor, Martin Winterkorn, knew about the “defeat device” software, claiming that it is likely that only a few employees were involved.

However, those few employees are likely to have a wide ranging effect on the company. It’s stock values have taken a pounding, the company has been forced to return rewards for being eco-friendly, and according to a Wall Street Journal report on Tuesday, the Kelley Blue Book resale value of Volkswagen diesel cars has dropped 13% since the scandal began.

In addition, a growing number of Volkswagen recall lawsuits continue to be filed those who say they were not only deceived into buying TDI diesel vehicles they thought were environmentally friendly, but they actually paid thousands extra for features that were not there.

The state of West Virginia became the most recent plaintiff, with Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers in the state on Friday at the Kanawha County Circuit Court. The lawsuit seeks restitution for the owners of 2,684 Volkswagen diesel vehicles registered in the state.

Morrisey says customers in his state paid up to $6,855 extra for clean diesel engines, and the state wants VW to pay that money back, as well as an additional $5,000 in civil penalties for each instance.

A number of plaintiffs have requested that lawsuits filed nationwide in federal courts be consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of a Volkswagen diesel recall MDL, or multidistrict litigation.


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