Oh boy, you thought Volkswagen’s days of scandals were behind it, but a new one has cropped up. This time it has nothing to do with vehicle emissions, and instead is all about safety. It’s a slightly complicated situation, but one every VW driver should know about.
In 2006, someone inside VW got the brilliant idea to sell pre-production vehicles as new and used models at dealerships. It’s not unusual for automakers to sell these cars, but it does so with government clearance and the buyer’s knowledge. In Volkswagen’s case, it did all this in secret.
Things get even better. German publication Der Spiegel claims at least 6,700 test cars were sold to the public. Some might not even be fit for road use, thanks to critical flaws in any number of systems or the vehicle structure itself. Comforting, isn’t it?
So now there are thousands of VWs in Europe and North America that possibly don’t meet safety guidelines and could have other flaws. Anyone could be driving these cars and not even know. Dealers were left in the dark as well.
Not all problems with these pre-production cars might be safety-related. Some could have resulted in mechanical or electrical failures, sticking the owners with a hefty repair bill that was completely unnecessary, simply because VW wanted to pawn off cars in a likely illegal way. German authorities are reportedly weighing hitting Volkswagen with big fines, and other governments could follow.
Yes, VW has a real PR problem.
Source: Der Spiegel