• VW Recall Set To Be The Most Expensive In History

    Volkswagen AG is facing a recall that could be the most expensive and complex in industry history, following the emissions scandal that affected up to 11 million VW vehicles.

    The recall will require retrofits, new repair shops and technological updates that will likely destroy currently advertised vehicle fuel economy, all while meeting the comprehensive regulatory tests that will vary from country to country. The total cost to Volkswagen could exceed $34 billion, according to Bloomberg.

    Recall and repair reflect only one aspect of the daunting and widespread costs the company faces, as it must also compensate dealers for storing affected cars and settle lawsuits with a growing number of consumers, reports Bloomberg. Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports magazine said, “I can’t think of any other recall that would be as comprehensive. It’s really an expensive rework.”

    One of the big challenges Volkswagen will have to overcome is retrofitting a urea injection tank to their affected vehicles that were not built with such technology in mind. Urea injection is a common technology in diesel cars, but Volkswagen prided itself on building vehicles without urea injection so they could manufacture and sell their models at a cheaper price.

    At the moment, Volkswagen does not have a comprehensive timetable for their repairs, but VW’s U.S. Chief Michael Horn said during an Oct. 8 testimony to Congress that getting over the technical hurtle of installing a Urea tank will be the biggest factor in establishing a remedy.

    Adding the tank requires finding space for it, adding a heater to avoid freezing, a pump and injectors for the urea fluid, wiring connecting the tank to the engine computer, and a possible reprogramming of the engine computer to make it compatible with the tank.

    Bill Visnic, an independent automotive analyst said, “It’s going to require an uncomfortable amount of hacking at the car. There’s no real pretty way to put it. You’re going to have to drill some holes and run some lines under the car. You’ve got to find someplace to put the tank. It’s going to add up pretty quickly.”

    News reports surfaced Thursday that the number of affected diesel engines may be higher than originally thought. Volkswagen Spokesman Pietro Zollino confirmed that the company is investigating whether the defeat software was installed in more vehicles, but did not comment on how many vehicles were under review at this time, reports CBS News.

    Despite the massive costs Volkswagen faces, CEO Matthias Mueller said the recall and repairs will happen, “Of course at no cost to the consumer.”

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