The recent acknowledgement by VW that it installed software to cheat U.S. emission tests is disheartening. While VW is suffering a backlash from the scandal, losing $25 billion in market value since the news was announced, the implications for VW owners is less certain. The automaker is the largest car company in the world and recently said that 23% of new cars sold in August in the U.S. were diesels, which translates to around 7,400 vehicles.
Recently Fortune Magazine published some suggestions that answer the question: What can I do about the VW diesel recall?
Check your car model
The EPA ordered the recall of nearly 500,000 VW and Audi cars that are equipped with 4-cylinder turbo diesel engines. The recall covers cars made from 2009 to 2015, and includes the following models, all of which are the diesel versions: 2009-15 VW Jetta; 2009–15 Beetle; 2009–15 Golf; 2014-15 Passat; and 2009-15 Audi A3. In addition, the company announced it would stop selling the 2015 and 2016 models for the above cars. If you don’t own the diesel variation of the models listed above, your vehicle is not affected by this situation.
Realize it’s not a safety issue
Most recalls are for car safety issues, however, the issue here centers around the ecological merits of VW’s line of diesel cars. During an independent analysis by researchers at West Virginia University, testers found a software algorithm that detects when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and turns on emission controls during these tests. When the car is back on the road, the controls are reduced, and emit nitrogen oxides at up to 40 times the standard. This software is known as a “defeat device,” and under the Clean Air Act it is illegal.
If you haven't received a recall notice from VW or Audi, we suggest you contact your dealer for additional information or go to VW's recall website and enter your VIN.