Volkswagen seems to have found itself in a bowl of hot soup, again. While the company’s infamous Dieselgate scandal is not out of the rearview mirror yet, the company recently admitted that it sold thousands of its pre-production vehicles as used cars, which did not meet regulations in the USA as well as Europe.
Reports published by German publication Handelsblatt cited a spokesperson of the company who stated that close to 6,400 pre-production cars were sold in a span of 12 years between 2006 and 2018. Making things worse was the fact that VW’s current CEO, Herbert Diess was reportedly aware of the practice since 2016.
Reports suggest that the company could face fines for every pre-production vehicles that were sold under its nose over the 12-year period
While pre-production cars are often similar to their final iterations, the same cars might often not be certified for sale and often come under the crusher after its purpose for media events and tests. These cars were sold to the public, which meant US and European regulators never gave their approval for its sale.
Reiterating Volkswagen’s previous mistakes, a few thousand cars could be just another drop in the bucket compared to the millions of vehicles that emitted far greater emissions due to a ‘defeat device’. An unnamed industry official called it “a gigantic mistake” for VW to have passed along pre-production vehicles to consumers.
While pre-production cars are often similar to their final iterations, the same cars might often not be certified for sale and often come under the crusher after its purpose for media events and tests
Volkswagen has however pledged to correct the mistake by recalling the pre-production vehicles. However, this recall varies depending on the type of correction it needs. The company stated that some of them only needed software updates or a revised navigation system while the others were so different from the production model that they must be laid to rest. The German automaker also said that the cars could have been sold legally if VW documented their differences with the proper authorities, but it failed to do so for more than 10 years.
The company could face fines for every pre-production vehicles that were sold under its nose over the 12-year period, along with additional lawsuits from the owners who purchased the cars that did not meet the automaker’s marketed criteria.