Volkswagen admits 683,626 vehicles affected by emissions scandal in Spain
Automaker to set up information hotline for customers who bought the tampered models
Nearly two weeks after US authorities uncovered Volkswagen’s sophisticated scheme to deceive pollution emission regulators, the German automaker has put a figure on the number of vehicles affected in Spain.
According to the company, 683,626 automobiles are equipped with the tampered EA 189 Euro 5 diesel engines, which come with software that reduces emissions during regulatory testing, but not on the road.
The Spanish subsidiary of the German automaker has now issued a press release detailing the specific brands affected by the scandal.
The company said the affected brands will each publish a free hotline number on their websites on October 3
According to this information, there are 257,479 Volkswagens, 221,783 Seats, 147,095 Audis, 37,082 Skodas and 20,187 Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles equipped with this engine.
Volkswagen Spain said it has already informed the Spanish environment and industry ministers about the figures.
Industry Minister José Manuel Soria warned earlier this week that the government is planning to make a legal claim against VW over state subsidies the group received to encourage Spaniards to buy its cars.
The company said the affected brands would publish a free hotline number on their websites on October 3 that customers will be able to call to find out if their vehicles contain the fraudulent software.
The automaker has yet to specify what measures it aims to take in such cases, however. VW headquarters said it would offer technical solutions to the software issue and to the excess emissions sometime in October.
Many customers have been contacting their auto dealerships in recent days to inquire about the case, but neither sales representatives nor managers have been able to offer reliable information, given that VW has yet to say what it plans to do.
VW insisted that models with EU 6 engines are not affected by the scandal, and that those vehicles that do have the tampered engines remain “completely safe and fit for circulation.”
The company added that it would cover all costs deriving from the problem, as demanded by consumer groups in recent days. The OCU and Facua associations have already brought together over 11,000 drivers who are ready to take legal action against VW.
By the end of September, VW was the Spanish automobile market leader, where all the group’s brands registered sales growth of more than 28 percent, above the industry average.
The company’s Spanish unit was the last one to put a figure on the fraud, hours after VW divisions in Britain, France, Norway and Czech Republic did the same.
English version by Susana Urra.