Volkswagen is in a whole lot of trouble. Being that the brand from Wolfsburg has put a stop-sale on all of the offending diesel models of its latest scandal, dealerships are screwed out of their diesel inventory. Being that TDI models make up about 20 to 25 percent of the Volkswagens sold in the US, that’s quite a lot of models sitting on dealer lots that can’t be sold. So Volkswagen is paying these dealerships for the now useless inventory. It’s a shame so many good cars will go to waste.
It turns out that Volkswagen will be offering financial reimbursement for diesel vehicles that dealers can’t sell. Even Certified Pre-Owned Volkswagens will be included in this reimbursement. There hasn’t been anything directly said of what will happen to Audi A3 TDI models that can no longer be sold, but we’re assuming that the same thing will happen to them. Regardless, Volkswagen will be providing dealerships with financial support for all of the unsellable diesel models. Volkswagen will also be offering 1 percent of the MSRP back to the dealers for every car sold in the third and fourth quarter of 2015 plus $300 per car ($500 per Passat) sold for the rest of September.
The interesting thing about all of this is that the violation was a software issue. Volkswagen installed software code to recognize test gear being plugged into the car’s OBD-II port and would change its throttle mapping, as well as other tweaks, to trick the testing software to think it was cleaner than it actually was. Once the test gear was unplugged, the software would revert back to its original, and dirtier, setting. This caused the diesel engines to run dirtier than the EPA would allow under normal usage. But being that it was a software issue, wouldn’t Volkswagen be able to offer a recall and have all of the vehicles affected be issued a software fix from the dealer? It seems that a solution like that would be far cheaper and easier. But VW most likely can’t do such a thing or it would be doing so already.
This might become too much for Volkswagen to handle. It’s currently unknown if these violating models were sold outside of the United States and if they were and this becomes a global issue, Volkswagen would have to offer financial reimbursement globally. Then add the fact that it will likely be getting fined by the EPA as well as any other governing body that has been affected. Volkswagen is really in deep and it’s unknown how it’s going to get out of this mess. All we do know is that Volkswagen won’t be the same for a very long time after this.