Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More Volkswagen Diesel Fallout

Just when you thought things couldn't get worse for Volkswagen, they have.  It turns out that Volkswagens for the 2016 model year with TDI diesel engines have a new piece of software, a feature called an "auxiliary emissions control device" that makes the pollution-control mechanism heat up more quickly to improve the performance of the device that breaks down nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and oxygen - which, on their own, are not pollutants.  Sounds great - if it were for regular driving.  However, the software is meant to heat up the pollution-control mechanism only to fool emissions testers.
While  all of this was going on, Volkswagen lost one of its top managers, Winfried Vahland, who had been appointed to hear VW's North American operations; essentially he would have been Volkswagen of America president Michael Horn's boss.  But Vahland had some disagreements with company management that he said had nothing to do with the scandal (what's the German phrase for "yeah, right?"), and now VW needs someone else to deal with the crisis in the North American sector - and the firm probably won't find someone as experienced as Vahland was.  Then again, he had been the head of VW's Czech brand Škoda, a brand that hasn't been sold in the U.S. in decades, so maybe he didn't have that much experience with Americans - despite having been partially educated here. 
Oh yeah, the German government also recalled 8.5 million diesel-powered VWs sold in the European Union, 2.4 million of them sold in Germany, to remedy the defeat-device issue. 
If VW has a plan to get through this in a quick and thorough matter without squandering customer confidence, it's probably not going to work. :-(
That sound you hear is the sound of VW enthusiasts seething at the possibility that their next car may be a Toyota. :-O 

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