Volkswagen launches VIN lookup tool on its diesel information website
Volkswagen has added a VIN lookup tool on its diesel recall information website that allows owners to check if their cars possess the emissions-cheating software and will require a fix, the details of which have yet to be announced. You can check whether your vehicle will be part of a recall here.
The automaker had already added similar features to its German and British websites, in addition to publishing a list of the vehicle models and model years thought to be affected by the software, which include:
VW Jetta TDI (2009 — 2015)
VW Jetta SportWagen TDI (2009 — 2014)
VW Golf TDI (2010 –2015)
VW Golf SportWagen TDI (2015 only)
VW Beetle TDI and VW Beetle Convertible TDI (2012 — 2015)
VW Passat TDI (2012 — 2015)
Volkswagen stresses that the cars are safe to drive and that owners do not need to take any action at this point in time. The automaker plans to inform owners of a recall schedule once its fix for the software is approved by regulators in the U.S. You will note that this list does not include the Audi A3 that also has this engine (though it should) and it does not include the diesel Touareg, which is not believed to be part of any upcoming recalls since it uses the 3.0-liter V6.
VW’s Canadian diesel information site does not have a similar VIN tool yet, and it refers to affected models as being all 2.0-liter diesel models from the 2009 model year onwards. Volkswagen’s Canadian lineup is a little different from the U.S., though the cars from that market will also face a recall. The Canadian website, however, lists the Audi A3 from the 2010 through the 2013 model year, as well as the 2015 model year as being affected, though the U.S. site makes no mention of Audi at all.
The site contains a curious Q&A section that, much like its U.S. counterpart, attempts to allay the fears of current owners of affected vehicles. But some of the questions and answers are pretty telling. Here’s one:
“Are there no processes in place to prevent something like this happening?” a question on the info site asks.
“The discrepancies resulted from software installed at the time of manufacture and could not be detected by the quality and regulatory compliance testing that was undertaken at the time,” VW states, asserting that its current quality control processes could not have detected the presence of the emissions-cheating software. This suggests that VW did not test the diesel models the old-fashioned way — in real-world conditions with sensors in the tailpipe, and that it did not carry out testing on diesel emissions outside of a laboratory environment.
During VW U.S. CEO Michael Horn’s testimony on Capitol Hill a week and half ago it was also revealed that 2016 model year diesel-engined cars that were scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. contained another type of emission control device that has yet to be evaluated by the EPA, one that the EPA classifies as an “auxiliary emission control device.” The EPA indicated that it has yet to evaluate the legality of this second device, which is stated to be part of a catalyst “warmup strategy,” helping it reach an optimal operating temperature sooner.
Volkswagen has withdrawn its 2016 diesel models from certification in the U.S. until it develops a fix for the all of the affected cars, which are thought to number 482,000 in the U.S. alone.
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