The great Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal has slowly moved towards its resolution, leaving 11 million customers around the world wondering how their car purchase will come back to haunt them. While the courts sort out the fees–an amount that has already reached nearly $15 billion in restitution in the US alone, which covers only half a million affected customers–and the government sorts out what penalties the company will face for blatantly violating environmental protection standards, the manufacturer has scrambled to come up with a software update that will save them.
Over one million vehicles under VW’s brand have already been repaired with the update. This fix should disable the “tricky” software that allowed the vehicle to operate in one mode whenever it detected emissions testing software, then switch to a more powerful but environmentally harmful driving mode when the vehicle was in the clear. This flies in the face of a massive fraudulent campaign VW enacted, one that worked to convince consumers and lawmakers that diesel was a “clean” alternative to hybrid and electric cars.
According to a Volkswagen spokesman, “The number of 1.2-litre and 2.0-litre diesel cars repaired has more than doubled within several weeks from 500,000 previously. The refitted cars include models from VW brand, Audi, Skoda, Seat and VW commercial vehicles. Some 5.6 million vehicles have so far been cleared for repair by Germany’s motor vehicle authority KBA. Approval by the KBA is valid for countries throughout Europe where 8.5 million diesel cars are affected by VW’s emissions test-cheating scandal.”
In the US, the process isn’t as simple as taking the car in for a fix. While that option will be still extended, compensation will be given to vehicle owners and those who opted to lease. Those who purchased their vehicles will be awarded damages due to the lower resale value of theirs cars, while others will be given the option to sell their cars back to VW.