From: Leon Kaye
Published October 19, 2015 06:54 AM

Volkswagen begins recalling diesels in Europe

The good news for Volkswagen is that it delivered almost 7.5 million vehicles to customers during the first three quarters of 2015. The bad news is that 8.5 million of VW’s cars will most likely be subject to a mandatory recall — and that’s just in Europe.

The fallout from the Volkswagen emissions scandal continues to reverberate, four weeks after revelations about the installation of “defeat device” software in diesel-powered cars slammed the newswires. Now, the world’s largest automaker is facing a global public relations crisis. This includes its home base: 2.8 million of the recalled vehicles were sold in Germany.

With about 2.4 million of those cars still within Germany’s borders, the company is spinning its wheels to deliver a plan to retrofit the cars. German authorities demanded a mandatory recall, rejecting any suggestion that car owners take their vehicles in for inspection at their own discretion.

Such a directive, instead of a voluntary recall, adds to the company’s costs since Volkswagen is required to contact customers directly and make arrangements for necessary repairs to all cars in question. Notices will start going out in January 2016, and the recall in Germany is expected to last longer than six months. Adding to the company’s financial pain is the possibility that more cars than originally believed will require more than a software reconfiguration. Some diesel cars with 1.6-liter engines, for example, will require actual hardware modifications in the engine. By the time Volkswagen completes the entire global recall, the total price-tag could soar as high as $40 billion (or 35 million euros).

Diesel mechanic image via Shutterstock.

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