The fallout from Volkswagen’s Dieselgate is still very much in the early stages, but some new developments indicate the fix for many TDIs will be expensive. As Automotive News covered recently, Congress held a session on VW’s emissions-cheating cars, putting Volkswagen U.S. CEO Michael Horn in the hot seat.
Horn revealed that a simple software patch will fix the problem with newer TDI engines. By “newer”, Horn was referring to those that were older than the 2015 model year. All VWs with the first-generation EA189 2.0-liter diesel engine will need a hardware update on top of the software. That’s about 325,000 cars.
VW owners can expect to drop their cars off at dealerships’ service departments at least for a day, or maybe longer. Horn revealed that the hardware swaps will take somewhere between 5 to 10 hours to finish completely. Because of the sheer number of vehicles that are in need of the repairs and the extensive nature of the fixes, it could easily be over a year before all of the offending TDIs are compliant with the EPA’s standards.
The bad news keeps coming for Volkswagen TDI owners. Like many has suspected, making the cars pollute less could adversely affect performance. In other words, the vehicles could become really slow.
Fiat Chrysler sees opportunity with Dieselgate and is trying to appeal to the disgruntled TDI owners. In Italy, FCA is offering $1,700 for people who switch allegiances from any Volkswagen Group brand. While it’s not unusual for an automaker to run a “conquest” promotion in an effort to steal business from a competitor, the timing of this move is far more than coincidence.
Ford is enticing buyers with VW vehicles in Italy with an $840 incentive. So far, this phenomena is only taking place in Italy, but the practice could spread to Germany and the United States if it proves successful.