By on November 4, 2015

Volkswagen Polo

German authorities said Wednesday that they would retest all Volkswagen cars — regardless of engine type or brand — for emissions compliance, Reuters reported.

German transportation minister Alexander Dobrindt expressed his “irritation” with the automaker that more cars were being added to the deepening scandal. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency notified the automaker that some of its 3-liter diesel models may contain an illegal “defeat device” to fool emissions tests.

Volkswagen denied the allegations by the EPA that its 3-liter diesel models contained illegal software. On Wednesday, Audi and Porsche issued stop sales for their cars that contained the engine. As of Wednesday afternoon, Volkswagen hadn’t yet pulled the Touareg TDI — which the EPA alleged polluted up to nine times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides — from its online configurator.

The growing list of cars affected by Volkswagen’s massive emissions scandal is brutally punishing the company’s balance sheet. The company’s stock sank 10 percent Wednesday on the latest news. Volkswagen’s stock has erased roughly 60 percent of its value since its 1-year high in March.

When the company announced Monday that 800,000 additional cars may pollute more carbon dioxide than the automaker admitted, Volkswagen said that could cost them $2.1 billion alone. So far, the company has set aside more than $7 billion to pay for its diesel scandal, but analysts suggest that will be far from enough to pay for the flap.

“These new claims pose further challenges to Volkswagen’s financial flexibility and competitive position, and heighten Moody’s concerns about Volkswagen’s internal control and governance issues, thus further weakening its rating profile,” Yasmina Serghini, Moody’s lead analyst for VW, told Reuters.

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22 Comments on “Germany’s Transportation Chief Wants To Retest Every Volkswagen Now...”

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    ” 800,000 additional cars may pollute more carbon dioxide than the automaker admitted,”

    I think you meant “emit” not “pollute.” That’s the wording on the other side of the link.

  • avatar
    Nick Engineer

    Is it me, or is VW trying their level best to cast doubt on their entire vehicle portfolio with the way they are “managing” this crisis?

    This is not VW ripping off the proverbial band-aid. Maybe there is more than one band-aid.

    • 0 avatar

      I have been wondering if maybe the VW department managing this crisis has been infiltrated by their competitors. Its the only rational explanation of why their actions seem to be focused on maximizing both the consumer distrust and financial damage to VW.

  • avatar

    You know, I’m a little tired of all this VW stuff on TTAC. After all, the anti-GM crowd has nothing to vent their hate on these last few weeks!

    Sure, VW makes nice small, brown diesel manual wagons, though… but maybe not for long!

  • avatar
    George B

    We’re starting to understand how Volkswagen cars achieved disproportionately higher fuel economy in Europe relative to the US. Pretty sure their naturally aspirated gasoline engines weren’t set up to cheat during fuel economy tests, but not so sure about the turbocharged models. Can’t remember any US model that uses the 1.4 liter turbo, but several got the 2.0 liter turbo.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if another car manufacturer gets caught cheating on the EPA fuel economy test. Ford has the most exposure with lots of high-volume vehicles with turbocharged gasoline engines. There is no Volkswagen model that would leave a hole in the US market if it disappeared. Not so for the Ford F-150 where even minor recalculation of EcoBoost fuel economy for CAFE would cause major product planning headaches in Dearborn.

    • 0 avatar

      George, interesting points. I take minor exception with a couple:

      •”Wouldn’t be surprised if another car manufacturer gets caught cheating on the EPA fuel economy test. Ford has the most exposure with lots of high-volume vehicles with turbocharged gasoline engines.”

      I’ve seen this comment a lot — some variation of “This will be the first of a series of revelations that most automakers are cheating on nearly as massive a scale.” I’m not convinced of that. VW didn’t get in trouble here because they use turbos. They got in trouble because they lied about them, and engineered them specifically to lie. That’s not a technology problem, that’s a product of their corporate culture.

      •”There is no Volkswagen model that would leave a hole in the US market if it disappeared.” There are probably some GTI fans who disagree, but more to the point, I suspect there would be a lot of grieving Audi lovers. Because if VW goes down, it’s taking Audi with it.

      • 0 avatar
        John Horner

        There are plenty of competitors ready to pick up Audi’s market share. Volvo, Subaru, BMW, Mercedes, Acura, Lexus, Mercedes and Infiniti would all get pieces of that pie.

        Porsche would be harder to replace, but the money would find places to go :).

        • 0 avatar

          Not that I disagree, John. Okay, BMW or Mercedes could replace most Audi models. But if you apply a standard that strict, you’d be hard pressed to name 5 cars in the mass marketplace that are truly irreplaceable.

          Mini? It isn’t that mini anymore. Corvette? Cue the arguments. Beetle? At current sales rates, it’d be a really really tiny hole. Scion? I threw that one in just for laughs.

      • 0 avatar
        Ol Shel

        Manufacturers (all corporations, really) want to self-regulate.

        Because they want to cheat to maximize profits.

    • 0 avatar

      The Jetta Hybrid has used the 1.4T since it appeared in 2012. Not that there are many Jetta Hybrids on the road, but it uses the affected engine. The Jetta S is also coming with the 1.4T now, since they finally stopped outfitting it with the 2.slow.

    • 0 avatar

      The EU test cycle is different and not directly comparable to the US EPA test. Everything gets substantially higher results on an EU test cycle.

  • avatar

    Several decades ago the legendary tuner Smokey Yunick claimed that all the manufacturers were cheating the emission codes by specifically tuning their cars to meet the tests, but as soon as you drove them out of that sphere they were dumping massive quantities of pollution. His specific complaint was regarding 55mph vs. 70mph. Wandering around most American cities these days would indicate that he was not correct long term, the air quality is much better regarding auto air pollution here in the States. But, I wonder if the EPA has pushed the restrictions to the point that it has become necessary to cheat once again? As in the the late ’70s, have the laws pushed past the ability to meet them? Just a thought.

    • 0 avatar

      While the standards are very strict, there’s no reason that these engines have to be so small that this is an issue. Mazdas 2.5L in the 3, while only adequate is proof that there is no reason any manufacturer should be installing 2.0 and sub 2.0L engines, these manufacturers are pushing these problems on themselves.
      Again that’s not to say the standards aren’t ridiculously strict.

    • 0 avatar

      And this outlines the whole problem with having a specific test that is looking a very specific thing. Just like the EPA’s MPG test which every automaker fully understands and thus builds their software to maximize the results of. So this is why the “real world” fuel economy reports (via Fuely or Consumer Reports or a TTAC test) should carry more weight in the consumer’s eyes then some silly sticker on the car lot.

      What we are learning is something we already knew: these automakers have been gaming the system for years on a variety of tests. Another prime example was Ford installing those extra braces to improve the crash test results on their trucks. They fully understand all the parameters of the test, thus can build something which gains them a better score. Is said truck actually any safer in the real world? A place where accidents never occur at that specific angle. Overall I doubt it, but hey look an extra star!

      • 0 avatar

        JMII, I disagree. I think “those extra braces” improve crash test results precisely because they really do meaningfully improve your real-world safety.

        The small-overlap test is important because it’s hard for cars to pass, and because it accounts for a really large number of real-world accidents. Few crashes are as tidy as meeting a flat barrier, fixed or moving, at a perfect 90-degree angle that lets the vehicle evenly distribute the crush forces in textbook fashion.

        I don’t call that “gaming” the test. I call it a test that forces actual improvement I’m glad to have. I’m glad the test is there, and I feel good about what automakers have had to do in order to pass it.

      • 0 avatar

        I remember the F150 was cash tested in Europe in the early 2000’s and it’s side protection was appalling. Think Chinese Pickup

  • avatar

    Say what your u want about GM, they handled things a lot better.

    VAG needs to come clean or they are sunk.

  • avatar

    I’m surprised at the depth of the past deception. I worked for an alternate German automaker for 3 years (from 2008 – 2011) and was amazed at how they constantly preached “transparency”, and they actually did “walk the talk”, with lots of “checks and balances”.. My presumption at the time was that other German OEM’s operated in a similar fashion — boy was that perception wrong !

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