TIME FOR CLOSING THE DIESELGATE
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.