Tom: You are joining us this morning to talk about Volkswagen?
Mellody: That is right, Tom! I figured with the size of this recent recall, and the size of your audience, we are bound to have some people impacted by this story, and by other recalls that will inevitably pop up from other companies. But this recall is a huge deal for Volkswagen. As you may know, nearly 500,000 vehicles were affected here in the U.S. If the maximum fines were levied, they would total more than $18 billion. The CEO who was in charge at the time resigned and the company’s stock price took a big hit. Now, they have to execute a massive recall that will be global in scope, all while under the watchful eye of regulators in various countries.
Tom: What will happen to me if my Volkswagen is recalled?
Mellody: That really depends on the model and model year. The company’s new CEO has said that in order to address the issue, the company will have to work out “thousands” of solutions, since the diesel engine in question has been used in several models, many of which had country-specific variations. That said, Volkswagen has said that it believes that a software update will be sufficient for most cars. However, other vehicles would require hardware as well, and this may be difficult because some models do not have sufficient physical space around the engine. Because of this, it will depend on the model that you are driving, and it could mean a simple software fix to considerable work on the engine block.
Tom: How will Volkswagen’s recall proceed in the us?
Mellody: This is a tough one, and we actually do not know the answer yet. Usually a recall is initiated when unknown defects are found within the manufacturing process that could potentially impact the safety of automobiles. However, that is clearly not the case in this instance, as this was an intentional piece of software installed by what Volkswagen calls rogue employees. Because of this, it complicates the fix somewhat, as it affects numerous models for numerous reasons. We do not yet have a timeline for the recalls here in the United States. The company has said it will begin recalls in Germany in January of 2016, but no timeline has released for the U.S. at this point. However, some have said it could take years to get the recall fully implemented, if they ever managed to completely address the problem.