VW customers have long wait to get their cars fixed
Work to fix some Volkswagen models affected by the diesel emissions scandal will not begin for another 10 months, the firm’s UK boss has confirmed. Paul Willis, managing director of Volkswagen’s UK divisions, warned remedial action on cars with 1.6-litre EA189 engines will only begin from the end of September 2016.
VW admitted in September that it fitted sophisticated software designed to cheat emissions tests for nitrogen oxides in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK.
Mr Willis wrote to Louise Ellman, chair of the House of Commons’ Transport Select Committee, to outline the timetable for fixing affected vehicles.
He said the German car-maker hopes to begin work on vehicles with 2.0-litre engines on February 29, 1.2-litre engines on May 30 and 1.6-litre engines on September 26.
During his appearance in front of the committee last month, Mr Willis prefaced his response to several early questions by saying he is not an engineer and could therefore shed little light on the ins-and-outs of where VW’s failings lay.
In his letter, he said he understood Ms Ellman’s disappointment that the committee was not satisfied with some of his answers but added: “This was absolutely not the result of any kind of strategy to avoid scrutiny.
“My intention throughout was to assist the committee as best I could with the most up-to-date information that was available to me.”
Mr Willis also reiterated “my sincere apologies” for the scandal and stressed the firm “will take all the necessary actions to regain the trust of our customers and the wider public”.
The crisis deepened last week when the Wolfsburg-based firm admitted it found ”irregularities” in carbon emissions which may affect 800,000 of its vehicles – including 200,000 petrol models.
Fuel consumption and CO2 levels ”were set too low during the CO2 certification process”, VW revealed.
The company set the ”economic risks” at an estimated two billion euro (£1.4 billion). It had already put aside 6.7 billion euro (£4.8 billion) to deal with the controversy over nitrogen oxide testing.