VOLKSWAGEN has received the official go-ahead to fix another 61,000 Australian cars affected by the growing Dieselgate scandal.
The announcement today is believed to come after several months of tense talks between Volkswagen and the Federal Government over how the recall for Volkswagen and Skoda-badged cars would roll out.
It also brings the number of Australian cars with a recognised fix to almost 70,000, with a software update for more than 8600 Volkswagen Amarok trade utes announced in March.
About 30,000 more Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen-badged vehicles – some that may also need new engine components to comply with their stated emissions standards – are still to have a fix announced.
There is also still no word on compensation for Australian owners, a bone of contention with many of those affected who have joined Federal Court class actions against the German premium brand.
Volkswagen is also facing court action from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over claims it misrepresented vehicle emissions in advertising, with the carmaker facing millions of dollars in fines.
The carmaker is disputing the claims.
According to Volkswagen, the software solutions “are immediately available for more than 35,000 of these newly approved vehicles with the balance to come online shortly”.
“The update implements changes to the software which manages the vehicle’s engine and, in some vehicles, involves a minor hardware update,” VW said in a statement.
“Performed by a Volkswagen dealer technician, it is expected to take less than an hour. It is free of charge.”
Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch said major progress had been made in the Dieselgate recall process.
“Our confidence in this solution is based on the experience of thousands of Amarok owners in Australia and more than 1.7 million customers internationally who have had the update implemented,” he said.
“The type approval authorities in Europe conducted a review and certified that following the update, the fuel figures and CO2 emissions originally listed by the manufacturer were confirmed. Engine performance, maximum torque and noise emissions were unaffected.”
Affected owners will be sent a letter asking them to come in and have the Dieselgate fix applied to their cars.
Australian buyers appear little affected by the growing Dieselgate scandal that is expected to cost the German carmaker billions of dollars in compensation to European and US owners.
The carmaker’s Australian sales year-to-date to November lag last year’s numbers by almost seven percent, although November’s monthly result is up almost 10 percent to last year’s numbers that relate to shortly after news of the emissions cheats broke.