October 7, 2015 — Volkswagen has announced plans to recall millions of diesel cars in Europe to retrofit engines and remove illegal software that cheats emissions tests.
Matthias Müller, former head of Porsche who was named CEO of VW after Martin Winterkorn resigned, said the recalls are expected to begin in January. All of the cars in Europe should be fixed by the end of 2016.
He told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, “[VW] doesn’t need three solutions, but thousands” because the engine was used on several models with country-specific variations. Furthermore, “There were no deaths, and our cars were, and are safe.”
VW has not set a timeline for recalling cars in the United States because they must first come to an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to CBS News.
Müller said most of the cars will only need a software update, but some will require new fuel-injection equipment and catalytic converters. The software update is a simple fix in Europe, where laws regulating nitrogen oxide emissions are less strict than the United States.
The problem for American consumers is the trade-off between emissions and performance. Without retrofitting the engine, bringing the cars into compliance could noticeably impact performance and fuel-efficiency.
The scandal has rocked resale values on VW diesel cars in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal — on average, resale values have dropped 13%, or about $1,700 per car, according to the Kelley Blue Book used-car pricing guide.