AUDI and Volkswagen have confirmed they will recall Australian cars caught up in the Volkswagen Group diesel emissions scandal.
Audi Australia said today it would recall 16,085 diesel powered cars, while Volkswagen Australia extended its count of affected passenger cars to 61, 189.
The additional 6444 VW passenger cars take the total number of Australian vehicles affected to nearly 100,000, when Skoda cars and VW commercial vehicles are added.
All are fitted with the VW Group EA189 diesel engines that are at the heart of the global Dieselgate scandal, which VW has said involves 11 million cars worldwide.
Neither Australian importer said when the recall would begin, nor what parts would be changed. But both assured owners that the vehicles were safe to drive.
Both companies offered dedicated phone numbers for owners concerned by the recall (Audi 1800 50 2834; VW and Skoda 1800 504 076). Both also said owners could find out whether their cars were affected by visiting the Audi and VW Australian websites.
“We are committed to supporting our customers and ensuring all affected vehicles are rectified as soon as possible,” said Audi Australia MD, Andrew Doyle. “In the meantime, affected vehicles remain safe to drive.”
The announcement comes after Audi removed several EA189 models from sale last Saturday, including A4, A5 and Q5 vehicles that had been certified to the EU5 emissions standard. Volkswagen also removed models from sale.
TDI models certified to EU6 – including current model VW Golfs – are not part of the recall.
Apology… Volkswagen US CEO Michael Horn. Credit: Lev Radin/shutterstock.com
The Dieselgate scandal broke globally more than two weeks ago, precipitating an unprecedented crisis for Audi’s parent company, VW Group, which admitted to fitting ‘defeat device’ software to vehicles with EA189 diesel engines.
The software enabled a test mode in which pollution limits were met, before reverting back to a higher emissions rate when taken off the test bench.
Overnight last night, German prosecutors raided VW offices at its global headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, searching for information related to the matter.
Also overnight, Volkswagen’s US chief, Michael Horn, apologised to a Congressional subcommittee for his company’s cheating of emissions standards, which he described as deeply troubling, reports said.
"To the best of my knowledge today, this was not a corporate decision," he was quoted as telling the subcommittee of the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
"This was a couple of software engineers who put this [defeat device] in for whatever reasons and I would also like to find out."