2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
The fix is not yet in for Volkswagen’s emissions-test-cheating diesels, but when it does arrive, there could be more than one. Bloomberg reports that some models might be able to come clean with only a software update (although how that will affect performance and fuel economy is unknown), whereas others might need a larger catalytic converter fitted. Yet other cars might just have to be bought back from owners by Volkswagen.
Additionally, the remedies could vary by country. At the moment, the country that appears to be pushing hardest for a fix is Germany, which has given VW a deadline of October 7 to present a plan—or face a potential ban of the cars from German roadways. No such threat has been made by governmental agencies in the United States.
The cost of all this fixin’ is so far impossible to calculate, but Volkswagen’s new CEO, Matthias Müller, warned (in an e-mail to employees) that it will take a toll on the company’s plans and projects, Bloomberg further reports. Müller is quoted as saying that “what isn’t absolutely vital will be canceled or delayed,” adding, “this won’t be painless.”
To ameliorate some of the pain being felt at the retailer level, Volkswagen in the United States is offering $2000 cash incentives to existing VW owners to staunch defections. The money applies to owners of any Volkswagen, not just one of the affected TDI models. The cash is good toward the purchase or lease of a new Jetta, Golf (including GTI, Golf R, e-Golf, and SportWagen), Passat, Beetle, CC, Eos, Tiguan, or Touareg.
The fine print notes that the offer excludes “TDI Clean Diesel” models. Well, yes, because you can’t buy those at all, on account of the stop-sale order. Oh, and isn’t it time to drop that Clean Diesel trademark? Just a suggestion.