Dealers wait for more help from VW on emissions scandal
At this point, Volkswagens 650 dealers are stuck with thousands of diesel vehicles on their lots that cant be sold, irate customers and a plunging brand image. Dealer lawsuits are a possibility, and about 25 class action suits were filed across the country just in the first four days after the scandal broke. Until now, diesel has made up nearly a quarter of VW and Audiês U.S. sales.
Dealers have been offered some financial recompense, according to Automotive News. They will receive floor plan financing reimbursement for both new and certified pre owned diesel vehicles that are grounded on their lots. Dealers will also be paid 1 percent of sticker for each vehicle sold in the third and fourth quarter. The jury is out on any set back to VW sales in the weeks of 2015.
VW was already at or near the bottom of NADAs Dealer Attitude Survey, and sales were down nearly 3 percent through August. A few days after the scandal broke, NADA issued this statement:
Volkswagens acknowledged misconduct regarding its vehicle emissions has been extremely disappointing, and dealers are deeply concerned about how this breach of trust will affect their customers. Consumers deserve to be able to take manufacturer claims about vehicles at face value, and dealers stand ready to perform recall work and do whatever they can to help affected customers deal with the fallout from Volkswagens egregious misconduct. Any dealers with questions may call NADAs Industry Relations department at (703) 821-7010.
The implications go beyond VW dealers. AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson was among the industry observers who said diesel will likely take a major beating in the industry overall. If thats true, weêll see more hybrids and electric vehicles as automakers scramble to meet federal fuel economy regulations by 2025. It will certainly be hard for VW for meet those requirements now.
The Diesel Technology Forum defended the technology, saying in a statement, The circumstances involving a single manufacturer do not define an entire technology, or an industry. Vehicle manufacturers and engine makes have invested billions of dollars in research and development to successfully meet the most aggressive emissions standards in the world.
Even the federal regulators feel betrayed. NHTSA Adminstrator Mark Rosekind told reporters that VWs admission of cheating, along with the problems of General Motors, Takata and Fiat Chrysler, show that regulators have to question everything they are told by automakers and manufacturers, according to the Detroit News. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the agency is upping its game to catch automakers who cheat on tests. EPA plans to issue a recall of VWs diesel vehicles and said it will take a year to do the repairs. In the long term, Brett Smith of the Center for Automotive Research told NPR, regulators will have to rethink how they do emissions tests and will likely decide they want to do more testing themselves.Download Bulletin PDF