Volkswagen: over 2,000 vehicles affected in Estonia

Volkswagen TDI engine (Reuters/Scanpix)
10/1/2015 10:58 AM
Category: Politics

VW disclosed on Wednesday that there are over 2,000 cars and utility vehicles with "defeat device" on the Estonian roads.

Volkswagen, Europe’s largest car maker, is trying to cope with one of the biggest scandals the automotive industry has ever seen.

The scandal started to unravel on September 18, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that Volkswagen illegally installed software determined by the EPA to be a "defeat device", designed to circumvent environmental regulations on emissions of nitrogen oxides pollution by diesel-engined 2009 to 2015 model year Volkswagen- and Audi-branded cars. The company later admitted that 11 million vehicles with EA-189 VW diesel engines, including Seat and Skoda models, have been affected around the world.

VW said on September 30, after a week-long audit, that the issue concerns 1,511 cars and 530 utility vehicles, such as vans, in Estonia.

The company has not recalled the affected models yet. It said that “technical solutions” are underway and will be announced in October, while underlining again that “customers are able to continue to safely use their cars as part of their daily lives.” VW said that it will contact affected clients and repairs will be arranged.

It is unknown at this point how much the scandal will ultimately cost for the car company, but VW has so far confirmed that it plans to set aside a provision of some 6.5 billion euros, “to cover the necessary service measures and other efforts to win back the trust of its customers.” Some reports say that the lawsuits could cost VW up to 20 billion euros. The kick-off was on Wednesday, when Harris County in Texas, US, filed suit against Volkswagen AG, seeking almost 90 million euros (100 million dollars) for “damage to public health caused by its diesel vehicles.”

Some German analysts are also worried that the scandal will blemish not just the car company, but the entire “Made in Germany” brand, long known as standing for quality and trust – something that Volkswagen now has to recover.

S. Tambur

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