TIME FOR CLOS­ING THE DIESEL­GATE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter @JoshuaDowl­ing

VW, Audi and Skoda own­ers in Aus­tralia are still in the dark about when their cars with a “diesel emis­sions cheat mode” will get fixed and what com­pen­sa­tion they’ll get.

US own­ers have re­ceived up to $1000 each as “an ini­tial good­will ges­ture”. Any money for Aussie own­ers is on hold pend­ing the out­come of a lo­cal class ac­tion.

Re­calls are un­der way in Europe and the US but are yet to start here, de­spite VW say­ing last year rec­ti­fi­ca­tion would be­gin in Jan­uary.

VW says the Amarok ute is likely to be first on the fix list lo­cally. The re­call is await­ing fed­eral ap­proval, to en­sure the cars will not con­tinue to breach emis­sions reg­u­la­tions.

About 100,000 cars are af­fected lo­cally, in­clud­ing 16,000 Audis. Audi said this week it is un­sure when its af­fected A4, A5 (pic­tured) and Q5 mod­els will be fixed. Some cars will get a com­puter re­cal­i­bra­tion while oth­ers will also need a hard­ware swap.

Oddly, Audi didn’t pro­duce an in­de­pen­dent re­port demon­strat­ing the wor­thi­ness of its new A4 diesel, which is claimed to sip al­most as lit­tle fuel as a Toy­ota Prius.

Asked about in­de­pen­dent ev­i­dence to show the new A4 com­plied, Audi reps re­ferred us to head of­fice. Cus­tomers are told to “check the web­site”.

This is hardly a re­as­sur­ance from a group that was caught ly­ing not once but twice to US au­thor­i­ties about emis­sions cheat­ing soft­ware, be­fore com­ing clean. A re­port last week re­vealed se­nior ex­ec­u­tives knew about the scan­dal in May 2014, a year be­fore it went pub­lic and 18 months be­fore re­calls were an­nounced.

Some might say “as if the com­pany would be silly enough to do it again”. But it has al­ready been busted twice in the past two years, and was caught for a sim­i­lar of­fence in the US in the 1970s.

Clearly, VW and Audi still have a long road ahead be­fore clear­ing their name.

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