The bad news for Diesel car-makers just don’t seem to end.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has initiated proceedings in the Federal Court against Volkswagen, Audi and Audi Australia over the diesel emissions scandal.
Last week the Audi head office in Germany were raided in light of diesel emission cheating. And now News ltd reports that “..Audi and it’s parent company Volkswagen are being take to court for misleading or deceptive conduct by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).”
Globally this scandal involved more than 11 million cars with the affected software falsely programmed to comply with the latest emission standards. In Australia around 90,000 Volkswagen, Skodas and Audis are affected and being recalled and certain engines being withdrawn from sale altogether.
BusinessInsider reports: “The ACCC action against Audi alleges that between 2011 and 2015 the company engaged in misleading conduct with its “defeat” software, which caused the vehicles to produce lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions when subject to test conditions in a laboratory than during normal on-road driving conditions. VWAG designed and supplied the engines and defeat software to Audi AG. The legal action involves 14 models, including the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, Q3, Q5 and TT Coupe.”
A French team of prosecutors has now commissioned a study into monitoring other diesel brands including Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat and Alfa Romeo – affecting around 40,000 vehicles in Australia.
This scandal has changed the way cars are tested and put the spotlight onto the Diesel industry resulting in an accelerated move away from Diesel technology. Is the end in sight for diesel passenger vehicles?
VW turns to Electrics
Volkswagen released their strategic plans late last year with their main focus on electric cars. This plan includes a pledge to launch no fewer than 30 different battery-electric vehicles over the next 10 years. The groups wrong doings has certainly forced an adjustment in business focus for the group and of course other car manufacturers. You can read in-depth about VW’s future plans it here.
“The objective of the Group’s second initiative is to develop a future-oriented vehicle and drivetrain portfolio, taking the corporate objectives and carbon compliance targets into account. By 2020, the portfolio in the growing SUV segment will initially be expanded by adding more than 20 models, with simultaneous development of electrified models. Development activities up to 2025 will focus on more than 30 new electric vehicles. At the same time, Volkswagen intends to systematically consolidate its conventional portfolio for specific markets.” (Source VW AG)
The worldwide brand damage this has caused is in the billions and a yet to be determined amount of fines and compensations to be paid in Australia and overseas.
Electric revolution in the Luxury Car Segment
Even other luxury brands such as Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Lexus were completely taken aback by the success of the Tesla Model S. These high end brands are rushing to launch their own luxury electric car ranges as soon as they can. It is a big status symbol for the consumers to have the latest electric luxury car. You even see them zooming on Sydney roads these days.
BMW is working on its i5, Mercedes has 4 electric cars in the pipeline, Jaguar is working on an all-electric F-Pace and Audi will have the Q6 e-tron.
Are you wondering what happens to all the VW Diesels in the US?
The most expensive scrapyard in the world is around the silverdome in the wasteland of the Detroit suburb of Pontiac. Thousands of Jetta, Passats und Golfs “Clean Diesel TDI” series are lined next to each other. VW hasn’t quite given up hope to re-man these vehicles to comply.