Update, Sept. 22, 2015: On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced that 11 million diesel cars worldwide use the same “defeat device” software that evades emissions testing. Michael Horn, president and CEO of VW of America, told reporters in New York on Monday, “In my German words, we’ve totally screwed up.” The automaker has also set aside 6.5 billion euros, or about $7.3 billion, to cover the cost of fixing the affected vehicles.
Volkswagen has ordered dealers to stop selling both new 2015 diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder models and certain affected certified pre-owned used models, the automaker said Monday. The order comes amid an EPA investigation regarding software placed into the cars that was allegedly used to evade emissions testing.
VW spokesman John Schilling confirmed the stoppage and said he doesn’t know how many cars it affects. However, one of three dealerships contacted in the Chicago area, where Cars.com is based, said they’re still selling diesels, despite “a lot of bad rumors.” Two other dealerships confirmed the sales stoppage.
VW’s diesel four-cylinder engine accounts for about a third of Golf inventory on Cars.com; for Jetta, it’s 14.1 percent and for Passat, it’s 18.7 percent.
Federal and California certification on the 2016 four-cylinder diesels is “still being evaluated,” Schilling said. Those models are not yet for sale.
What should current owners of the affected VW diesels do now?
Stay tuned. The affected cars will reportedly undergo a formal recall, and regulators have already issued a non-compliance notice to the automaker. VW has yet to issue a recall or say how it will fix the problem.
VW CEO ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Breaking Trust With Consumers
In a statement released Sunday, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said he’s “deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public.” The automaker says it will cooperate with authorities and has ordered an external investigation on the issue. The automaker could face criminal prosecution and fines of up to $18 billion, reports say.
EPA Says Cars Safe to Drive
Owners “should know that although these vehicles have emissions exceeding standards, these violations do not present a safety hazard and the cars remain legal to drive and resell,” the EPA said in a statement Friday. “Owners of cars of these models and years do not need to take any action at this time.”
The EPA says its allegations affect 482,000 diesel VW and Audi cars sold over seven model years (from 2009 to 2015). Twenty-three percent of Volkswagen’s August sales were diesels, the automaker said on Sept. 1.