By on November 30, 2015

Volkswagen will officially recall all of its illegally polluting diesel engines in Germany, German newspaper Die Welt reported Monday (via Reuters), the first step in a wave of recalls to fix 11 million cars worldwide.

Roughly 2.5 million cars in Germany will be recalled — 1.5 million Volkswagens, 500,000 Audi and 500,000 Skoda- and Seat-branded cars — with work beginning in January. Last week, the German transportation authority approved Volkswagen’s fix for 1.6-liter cars, which included an “air calming” pipe ahead of the intake’s air sensor. The company’s 1.2- and 2-liter cars may only need software fixes.

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board will review Volkswagen’s proposal submitted earlier this month for fixing 482,000 cars in the U.S. It’s unclear what those fixes may be. During congressional testimony in October, Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn said it would be a combination of hardware and software fixes.

According to the report, Volkswagen needed to submit a comprehensive plan to fix its cars in Germany by Monday.

The proposed hardware fix for its 1.6-liter cars would take less than one hour for dealers to complete, Volkswagen said. Updating software on its 1.2- and 2-liter cars would take 30 minutes.

The recall in Germany will likely be the roadmap for Volkswagen to recall its cars in other European countries. Although the recall only affects Volkswagens in Germany, similar regulations in EU28 countries mean that the same or similar fixes would likely apply there.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

16 Comments on “Report: Volkswagen Officially Recalls Dirty Diesels in Germany, Fixes Start January...”

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I understand everything but the white glove; this isn’t brain surgery.

    • 0 avatar

      yes, this is typical of VAG official repair imagery. You should see some of their repair videos. A shop cleaner than an OR, a squeaky clean most definitely German-looking mechanic of ideal proportions and fair features, wearing flawless official and well-pressed uniform … you get the idea ;)

      fwiw I’ve seen these gloves in Europe but in other colors, probably rated for different uses.

      • 0 avatar

        Exactly. My first car was a used ’65 Beetle that came with the original owner’s manual, that featured photos of maintenance procedures carried out by a pair of engineers in white lab coats, working in a garage that was cleaner than any home I’ve ever lived in.

        • 0 avatar

          Heh… my oldest sibling started our family affair with VWs when she bought a ’63 Beetle with her first teaching job.

          I remember the incongruity of those white coats, clean hands and spotless surrounds.

  • avatar

    liquid diesel on skin can cause cancer ….. diesel burned in a Volkwagen can cause cancer…. A no win

  • avatar

    What’s the big deal? These things have been around for years.


    I wonder if VW is just buying them in bulk on eBay or, more appropriately, Alibaba? Seriously, VW have known for years of this issue. If a simple mechanical insert could produce substantial improvements in fuel economy and/or emissions don’t you think every manufacturer would be using them instead of spending millions of dollars on new technology?

    Next we’ll hear that they are going back to carburetors because they discovered the famous “lost” 200 mpg carburetor that GM destroyed in the 1970s after locking the inventor away in an insane asylum and somehow destroying all knowledge of its technology because they were in bed with their oil industry buddies.

    Sorry, do I sound cynical?

    • 0 avatar

      I am with you in thinking cynical thoughts about this wonderful piece of plastic that will fix all.

      The BS meter from the guys peddling them air calmers will go off the clock now.

      “Approved by VW!”

      “As fitted to the new Jetta!”

      Et cetera.

  • avatar

    The German government has bent over backwards for VW. The new standards proposed by them for Euro NOx as a multiple of Euro 6 all the way out to 2020 are complete BS. They’re apparently concerned that the German “brand” is not besmirched internationally, so are trying to back off what’s already in place so VW can canter in for an easy win. What a sleasy wheeze. So far, not all the other EU governments are convinced, thank goodness.

    On the other hand, some German newspapers are calling this really nasty-looking flow straightener a load of rubbish as a fix for EA189 1.6 diesels, and I could not agree more. Far from being something new, much nicer designs date from the 1940s, when people had to think things through rather than rely on some CAD program spitting out crude junk design like this.

    But it’s all a sideshow because this thing will do SFA anyway. It is the mere physical manifestation of a crock o’shite of a disinformation campaign cooked up by VW and a panicky government to placate what they see as the normal mouth agape techno-illiterates currently masquerading as citizens, Except they ain’t that stupid.

    But nevertheless the German Federal Motor Transport Authority has “approved” this “fix”. So it’s in, and staff members will no doubt retire early on full pensions and other “considerations” for being so compliant in the official cover up.

    When VW actually has to do something real and substantial for EPA and CARB and announce it publicly, the squeals of protest from an already disbelieving German press that Germans aren’t being treated equally will balloon. And who can blame them?

    VW has chosen to BS its German customers. No $500 gift cards for those poor sods, VW doesn’t value them. It doesn’t value its US customers either, but is scared sh*tless of fines from the EPA, so is trying to look sorta like a good guy offering up a little warmth for a mistake some damn traitors down in the engine lab dreamed up and inflicted not only on their customers, but to the integrity of VW itself. What a load of old hogswallop. It reeks.

    Ferdi Piech ran this company for years and he couldn’t care less about his customers. All that’s important now is to minimize the outlay and then getting back to business as usual. So using any old scheme or lie is fair game for the German business cartel. In other words much like business anywhere these days.

    Cynical? You bet I am.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I understand and embrace the cynicism, but both Euro and US labs will be testing this fix to see what effects it has on emissions and performance.

      In all seriousness, I’d be stunned if it doesn’t fix the emissions problem. That would be stupid. This isn’t a moon shot.

      If the performance isn’t too badly harmed, then they look stupid anyway because compliance would have been so easy to achieve in the first place.

      If performance is badly harmed, then they still look stupid because other diesel providers haven’t cheated to achieve compliance.

    • 0 avatar

      Very well said.

      Indep groups will be testing these cars after the fix, and there is nothing to prevent them from publishing their results. That would undermine the credibility of the German regulator – it’s a huge risk for them.

      That said, 95% of the fix is in the tune, not the cheap plastic part. Let’s see what happens to performance, and to durability of associated parts after the fix.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed on the tune, if I owned one of these vehicles I would not allow the fix to be performed until some real world testing happens. I’m not going to be VW’s out of warranty test mule…..who knows what that tune is doing to the engine.

  • avatar

    I hope an independent groups tests the “fixed” vehicles with and without the flow straightener. If that gadget works, I’m going to have to dig out my Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1970s and buy one each of every magic fuel saving device advertised!

  • avatar

    VW’s solution is also a cure for baldness. Bless there little corporate hearts. WINTERKORN rules!!!!

  • avatar

    What keeps VW owners from dismantling that mesh canister the moment they arrive home from the dealership?

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Russycle: I wouldn’t say great, but Farley and Spade certainly had chemistry. I was visiting a retirement home...
  • SCE to AUX: “until the public decides automotive pricing has become untenable and stops buying — opening the...
  • 28-Cars-Later: @Crosley Neat hack, though everyone has told me to remove the mechanical fan and replace it in the I...
  • DenverMike: Not unlike lunch, nothing comes for FREE(!). When turbos consume just as much fuel as the NA V8s they...
  • 28-Cars-Later: Volvo eventually outsourced to GM for A/C in the 200, in the 800/*70 (P80) I’m not sure who they...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber