Volkswagen has gone in damage control mode and has prepared a plan to recall a staggering 11 million cars fitted with ‘defeat device’ which could cheat the authorities during official emission tests, while in real world, the emissions would be as much as 40 times the official limit for better driving dynamics and efficiency.
Matthias Müller, the new chief executive of VW, told a meeting of the company’s top 1,000 managers on Monday night that a comprehensive plan has been drawn up to ensure vehicles fitted with a defeat device meet emissions standards. This plan will be submitted to regulators, and customers will be contacted in the next few days about having their vehicles refitted.
Since the scandal broke, VW’s share price has fallen by a third. The company faces fines of up to $18bn but also one of the biggest legal claims in history from customers and shareholders around the world. The company has admitted that 11m vehicles worldwide were fitted with defeat devices and is poised to recall them all. VW has said that 5m Volkswagen-branded cars are affected as well as 2.1m Audis, 1.2m Skodas, 700,000 Seats, and 1.8m light commercial vehicles.
“We are facing a long trudge and a lot of hard work, we will only be able to make progress in steps and there will be setbacks,” said new Chief Executive Matthias Mueller according to Reuters.
Heads started to roll as soon as the Volkswagen scandal broke out. First to go was the CEO of the Volkswagen group, Martin Winterkorn. An investigation has already been initiated by the authorities for a possible fraud against him.
For the world’s largest car manufacturer(Jan-June 2015), refitting 11 million cars would be among the biggest recalls in history by a single automaker, similar in scale to Toyota’s recall of more than 10 million vehicles between 2009 and 2010 over acceleration problems and the Takata airbags issue.