VW Canada vows to clean up the diesel scandal
Volkswagen Canada has vowed to be completely transparent in cleaning up the diesel emissions scandal that threatens the global reputation of the largest carmaker in the world.
KANATA, ON: Volkswagen Canada has vowed to be completely transparent in cleaning up the diesel emissions scandal that threatens the global reputation of the largest carmaker in the world.
At the Canadian press launch of the 2016 VW Golf R and Jetta 1.4 sedan last Thursday in Kanata, company public relations manager, Thomas Tetzlaff, began by talking about “the elephant in the room.”
Since the scandal broke on September 18, he admitted the brand has been scrambling to find answers and solutions.
The issue involves the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) instituting a ban on sales of 2.0-litre turbo diesel engines sold in cars made from 2009 to the present saying VW had allegedly installed software that could turn off emission controls except during government pollution tests.
Tetzlaff noted there are currently 136 dealers in Canada with some 100,000 vehicles affected in this country and almost 500,000 in the U.S sold between 2009-2015.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the cars were allegedly polluting up to 40 times the legal limit.
“What happened? I wish I knew what happened,” he said. “It sounds like someone took a short cut.”
Since the news broke, VW Canada has held continuous crisis meetings, set up conference calls with dealers and has set up a Canadian website and a call centre for owners to keep them up to date on what’s happening.
“We want them to know this is not a safety issue but a NOx (nitrous oxide) issue.
Curiously, at this writing, it is not a European problem because their testing is skewed towards CO2 greenhouse gases not NOx produced smog.
Sales of 2.0-litre TDI cars have been halted in Canada.
Tetzlaff has been with VW Canada for 20 years, and prior to that, his father was a mechanic at the Toronto VW dealership for decades.
Visibly moved, he said, “I haven’t been able to sleep or get this out of my mind.”
At the press launch in Kanata, there was an official statement which read:
“Volkswagen Canada has implemented a “stop sale order” on all vehicles affected by the recent US EPA Notice of Violation.
“As a result, dealers will refrain from the sale and delivery of any new Golf, Golf Sportwagon, Jetta, Beetle and Passat model equipped with a 2.0 TDI (Diesel) engine until further notice. Also within the stop sale order are Certified pre-owned vehicles from model year 2009 onwards, when equipped with the same engine.
“Volkswagen Canada is working with representatives from Volkswagen of America, as well as our parent company in Germany to seek a resolution to the issues brought forth in the EPA notice.
“We are implementing numerous temporary measures to limit customer inconvenience and facilitate a clear and timely flow of information.”