Reeling from the negative press that began when it was revealed that VW had programmed their diesel cars to lie about their real-world emissions performance from 2009 to the present (almost 11 million cars are affected worldwide), the company is scrambling to jam a finger in the dike until it figures out what to do next. Oddly enough, VW surpassed Toyota just a few months ago to become the largest automaker in the world. But now sales have gone over a cliff because of the news.
Volkswagen is just beginning to talk to regulators about how to fix the problems with the non-conforming cars it built, but it is pedaling furiously to keep current VW owners happy. Effective October 2. the company is handing over $2,000 in customer loyalty cash to any current Volkswagen owner or lessee when they buy a new 2105 or 2016 Volkswagen.
To get the money, there’s no need to trade in a car. All a person has to do is prove he or she currently owns or leases a Volkswagen and then buy an eligible car. Ironically, the offer applies to the Touareg TDI, which is equipped with the company’s V-6 diesel engine. That powerplant meets all current emissions standards and is used in various cars manufactured by the Volkswagen Group, including the Porsche Cayenne.
Volkswagen says the offer is in addition to any other incentives currently offered on any of its cars and that includes the $4,000 rebate available on the slow selling CC “4 door coupe” sedan, EOS convertible and Touareg models. It is also available to family members. The offer ends November 2.
The cash incentive seems to be working. Even though Volkswagen sales have plummeted since the announcement about its emissions cheating scandal, several dealers have reported an uptick in business in the past few days. Michael Morais, president of the New York based Open Road Auto Group, says his two VW stores saw a “significant” increase in sales over the weekend since the programs took effect on Oct. 2. “We have felt an immediate impact,” Morais told Auto Week. “The support has been greatly appreciated.”
Meanwhile, Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn will give testimony on October 8 to the House Energy and Commerce committee. According to Hybrid Cars, he is expected to tell the panel that each of the three generations of the affected 2.0-liter diesel engines will require a different fix. Some of the cars will need software updates while others will need to be fully outfitted with a Urea injection system. He says VW technical teams are “working tirelessly” to find solutions to the emissions problems.
The company announced on October 7 that VW has withdrawn its request to the EPA to certify its 2106 diesel engined cars in the US. That move is the opening gambit in the company’s discussions with regulators about what action the EPA will require. How much this mess will cost the company won’t be known until the EPA decides what actions it will require the company to take in order to make the non-conforming cars comply with US emissions regulations.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen.