So what exactly happened and why is this important? Don't worry, we'll help clear up a few things.
What Is The VW Scandal?
As mentioned before, Volkswagen had not been truthful about passing their performance and emission standards. However, it is a bit more scandalous than that. It was revealed that Volkswagen purposely manipulated the software using a specially made device in order to get its diesel cars to pass the emissions standards. This makes it much worse than most recalls, which involve a company failing to identify a defect in time, because Volkswagen was completely aware of the problem and intentionally lied.
So How Was VW Found Out?
The International Council on Clean Transportation, also known as ICCT, performed an independent, on-the-road emission test on several of the Volkswagen vehicles. The emission performances of several Volkswagen cars were so much worse than expected that the ICCT ran further tests on a dynamometer. After further testing confirmed the high emission levels of a few of the Volkswagen cars, they contacted the Environmental Protection Agency about their findings.
How Bad Is The Problem?
Volkswagen has had to issue a recall for 482,000 cars in the United States alone and all sales of the affected cars have been halted until further notice. Not only that, but the corporation is facing an investigation, a possible fine costing them billions, and even more billions on fixes and compensation. Criminal charges and civil actions are also expected.
Setting aside the large number of cars affected by the manipulation, the emission level violations is fairly significant. It was stated by the Environmental Protection Agency that the levels of nitrogen oxide emitted by these cars is somewhere between 10 to 40 times the level allowed by federal law. Not only does this add to ground-level ozone pollution, but it could aggravate and worsen respiratory diseases and heart conditions.
Which Cars Are Affected?
In September, the Environmental Protection Agency said that it would order Volkswagen to recall seven of its American models which will amount to a total of about 500,000 vehicles. The seven cars in question are:
1. Jetta (2005 to 2015)
2. Beetle and Beetle Convertible (2012 to 2015)
3. Passat (2012 to 2015)
4. A3 (2010 to 2015)
5. Jetta SportWagen (2009 to 2014)
6. Golf (2010 to 2015)
7. Golf SportWagen (2015)
Volkswagen has not released a list of international models with the questionable engines.
When Will It Get Fixed?
Sadly, consumers may have to wait more than a year for their affected cars to be fixed. Many of the vehicles are going to require a hardware and software change. This kind of major repair may consume as much as 10 hours of work per car. This work most likely won't start until next year. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot you can do currently if you own one of the vehicles listed..