Now that the Volkswagen TDI emissions cheating scandal that many are calling “Dieselgate” is a few weeks old, the company has started the long and arduous healing process by making some sweeping management changes and making efforts to gain back the trust of their customers and the industry.
Recently, Volkswagen has been giving back the awards it won with their TDI lineup. For example, the TDI won the 2009 Outstanding Environmentally Friendly award from the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP). The award was returned with a letter signed by Volkswagen USA President and CEO Michael Horn.
I greatly value our company’s relationship with the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press association over the years, and it is very important to us at Volkswagen that this relationship continues for many years to come. In light of the recent action by EPA concerning our 2.0L TDI vehicles and associated allegations, out of respect for you and your esteemed association, we feel it best at this time to return the 2009 Outstanding Environmentally Friendly Award that you gave to us for our Jetta TDI.
Volkswagen is honored to have been a recipient of the award, and we are determined to earn more such accolades in the future.
President and CEO
Volkswagen Group of America
Horn was lucky to keep his job, as many speculated he would either resign or be let go. Former CEO Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn resigned, which led to a reorganization and restructuring that saw Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller take his spot as the chief of Volkswagen. The Canadian, American and Mexican markets were restructured into a new North American region with former Skoda CEO Dr. Winfried Vahland slated to take the reigns of the new region on Nov. 1.
Volkswagen will fix 11 million TDI vehicles around the world that have the emissions cheat, which essentially can tell when the car is being tested and cuts emissions just for the test, allowing much higher emission levels during normal driving. The fix could be a recall or a complete replacement of the cars. The recall alone is estimated by the company to cost $6.5 bilion dollars, with government fines expected to add even more.
TFLcar recently made a quick non-scientific experiment to see if there is a power difference between “test mode” and normal driving by putting a 2011 Jetta TDI on an all-wheel dyno to find out. While overall power was similar, the power curve was much different between the two tests.
VW has also rolled out a special offer for current VW owners of $2,000 off of most new VW models. The offer, which expires on Nov. 2, presumably will give TDI or any VW owners a way to get a new VW gas or hybrid model for a reduced price.
In a video message to customers, Horn apologized for the scandal, saying that the company is working to resolve the issue. He also says that the affected vehicles are still “safe and legal” to drive and that customers don’t have to do anything now.
In a letter to Volkswagen from the California Air Resources Board, the agency concluded that any vehicle with the cheat device would not have a valid federal certificate of conformity or CARB executive order and would be in violation of state and federal law. VW has stopped selling TDI-equipped vehicles until a fix is implemented.
Check out TFLcar’s complete coverage of the scandal, and watch the video below of the dyno test on the 2011 Jetta TDI below: