They didn’t meet U.S. or European Regulations and VW’s CEO Herbert Diess Was Reportedly Aware

The way things are going, Volkswagen should be renamed as Volkscandal. Instead of focusing on rebuilding the “Volks’" trust after the Dieselgate fiasco, the German automaker continues to roll on the same saga. This time, the company has sold Pre-production prototypes that didn’t meet regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe. Dear VW, why would you want to continue working unethically despite being one of the world’s largest carmakers?

Volkswagen Sold More than 6,000 Cars Illegally

In Case You Forgot Volkswagen Was Shady, It's Now Under Fire For Illegally Selling Pre-Production Cars as Used Cars Exterior
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Volkswagen sold around 6,700 ‘test cars’ in Europe and the U.S. from 2006 to 2018. These cars are made to test and showcase new models before the car is sent to the assembly-line for full-fledged production. Although these cars need to be scrapped, Volkswagen sold them as "used" or second-hand cars. Forget about being unethical for a second; these cars never even got approved by the motor transport authorities.

When this scandal came under the scanner, a Volkswagen spokesperson confirmed the same to the German media.

Around 4,000 test cars were sold in Germany, while the rest of them were sold in Europe and North America.

According to Spiegal, internal company documents show that almost 17,000 Volkswagen test vehicles were brought to market, but the company only confirmed the recall of 6,700 cars. These test vehicles were only sold under the Volkswagen brand, so those of you with a Porsche, Skoda, or Audi don’t have to worry...yet.

Is This Being Lousy, Or Being Stupid?

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A Volkswagen spokesperson said that it is not aware of any accidents due to the use of the test cars sold, but was recalling them citing potential safety issues and because it was not certain how different the test vehicles were from the ones that were eventually approved.

While some models only needed a software update or a new navigation system to make them compliant, others were so different from production cars that they would not get required license and permission at all.

The spokesperson also said that all they had to do was properly document the differences between the test cars and production cars to sell them legally. However, this was not done at the time, and now the automaker does not know what is wrong with which test car if anything. Volkswagen’s procedures have since changed, and now these differences are noted.

What They Had To Say

In Case You Forgot Volkswagen Was Shady, It's Now Under Fire For Illegally Selling Pre-Production Cars as Used Cars Exterior
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Klaus Müller, head of consumer rights group VZBV, said, “The fact that these are VW models built between 2006 and 2018 shows (…) that Volkswagen has not understood anything, even three years after the diesel scandal became known," He spoke of another “failure on the part of management.”

This is not just between the customers and the automaker; it’s the dealerships that have to bear the brunt for no fault of their own. "Yet again we have to compensate the customer for damages that actually originated in Wolfsburg," said one car seller in southern Germany.

An industry representative said that "It's a gigantic mistake."

Other carmakers like Volvo, Daimler, and Opel said that they don’t sell test vehicles. The matter has been taken up seriously by local authorities, and the German Transport Ministry is deciding whether to fine the automaker a couple of thousand euros per test vehicle sold. Legal experts said Volkswagen might also face lawsuits because consumers bought cars which may not have met the criteria the automaker promised.

Our Take

In Case You Forgot Volkswagen Was Shady, It's Now Under Fire For Illegally Selling Pre-Production Cars as Used Cars Exterior
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This is a much smaller scandal when compared to the Dieselgate, but it has adversely affected the automaker’s reputation, which is still not restored.

The Dieselgate scandal affected 11 million cars that were sold between 2007 and 2015. It’s very surprising to see a manufacturer least bothered to adhere to the laws and the ethics despite getting a lot of flak for what it did for more than a decade.

What shocked us even more, however, is that the CEO of VW Group since April 2018, Herbert Diess, was privy to this problem since July 2016. Back then, he was the head of VW car passenger brand. Instead of being more vigilant and transparent about these things, the automaker went ahead and sold a minuscule number of vehicles that should have been crushed. In pure numbers, VW sold 10.8 million vehicles last year, and the test cars sold illegally constitute just 0.06% of total sales. Why even bother? Was this worth the disrepute yet again? What are your thoughts on this whole incident? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Further reading

In Case You Forgot Volkswagen Was Shady, It's Now Under Fire For Illegally Selling Pre-Production Cars as Used Cars Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf

2016 Volkswagen Passat High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat.

2016 McLaren 650S Spider Al Sahara 79 By MSO
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Read our full review on the 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan.

Source: Handelsblatt

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