VW In Hot Water Once Again For Selling 17,000 Pre-Production Cars

Ever since the Dieselgate scandal broke out in September 2015, Volkswagen seems unable to steer itself out of controversy.

The latest unflattering news comes from Germany’s Spiegel and Handelsblatt, who report that VW sold vehicles that lacked approval from authorities to be used on public roads.

From 2006 to 2018, the automaker sold around 6,700 pre-production VW cars in Europe and the United States. Around 4,000 of the test cars were sold in Germany, with the remaining 2,700 reaching customers in the rest of Europe and North America. A VW spokesman confirmed the reports and the company announced a recall of those vehicles.

Volkswagen sold cars that should have been scrapped

The cars in question, made to test and showcase new models before the launch of volume production, should have been scrapped according to the law. Despite that, VW sold them as new or used cars, putting thousands of its customers in Europe and the United States in vehicles that weren’t road-legal.

According to the report, internal VW documents reveal that almost 17,000 test vehicles were sold in total. However, the carmaker only recalled 6,700 of them. Even so, the number of affected vehicles is insignificant compared to the 11 million diesel cars with defeat devices built between 2007 and 2015. Nevertheless, it’s enough to throw yet another to an already tarnished reputation.

VW Group’s CEO reportedly knew about the practice since July 2016

The affair could have painful consequences not only for VW Group’s coffers, but also for its CEO, Herbert Diess. The executive was reportedly informed about the problem as early as July 2016, when he was running the VW passenger car brand. However, it took the carmaker more than two years to inform Germany’s Motor Transport Authority and its customers.

A company spokesman said VW wasn’t aware of any accidents caused by the pre-production vehicles it sold. However, the company is recalling them for potential safety issues and to check how different they are from the ones that were eventually approved.

While some of the affected models may only need a software update or a new navigation system to become compliant, others may be so different from production cars they should be sent directly to the scrapyard.

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  • TheBelltower

    Jeezus VW…. what’s the matter with you?

    • Mr. EP9

      There’s a lot wrong with them.

    • Six_Tymes

      and whats the matter with people that still buy them. idiots obviously

      • exeptor

        I really don’t think that they are idiots. We really need to see the satisfactory level of people who buy different brands and I mean overall not just by reliability point of view. From my personal experience VW buyers are far from the least satisfied and if so no matter what we can’t really call them idiots. Personally the only brand from the group portfolio which I will buy (if I have the money) is Porsche …. and probable Bugatti :), but I still think that VW have a great future.

  • Mr. EP9

    This company can’t seem to do anything right except get in trouble. And Ford is seriously considering partnering up with them?

    • Liam Paul

      lol should be a fun read

    • Their first joint venture: Pinto II TDI.

  • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

    Volkswagen Group trying to turn itself into British Leyland.

  • Romain AA

    German Qualität

  • Steve Hatton

    There seems to be a huge discrepancy between the number sold and the figure stated in the headline of around 10.300 so which is the correct figure?

    • If you read the article, the 10,300 difference are the non-legal, pre-production cars that VAG “did not recall.” They only recalled 6,700. So the 10,300 unrecalled vehicles are potential ticking time bombs still out there.

  • Ahhh, the unethical VW corporate culture continues. Meh, people don’t seem care about this anymore, unfortunately.

    • Belthronding

      just think if it wasn’t a german conglomerate but different one

  • Liam Paul

    yea I would not buy a VW but to VW fan boys, you are crazy lol

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Cheers, Volkswagen.

    …………………./´¯/)
    ………………..,/¯../
    ………………./…./
    …………./´¯/’…’/´¯¯`·¸
    ………./’/…/…./……./¨¯
    ……..(‘(…´…´…. ¯~/’…’)
    ……………………..’…../
    ……….”…………. _.·´
    ……………………..(
    …………..………….…

  • Paul

    OMG what next?

  • mailbox5

    Question: How much did the pre-production cars cost? I don’t see a problem IF customers were told about the origin of the cars and were given an appropriate warrantee. This assumes the cars were safe to drive. If the cars were sold at 30% off MSRP then maybe the customers got a good deal.

    • exeptor

      As you’ve said – if the safety of the car is the same, then with 30% off I personally will go for one. Obviously the last two years show that more or less these are the same cars in everything which customer can reach and feel. We just need the full information in order to judge the moral of VW. As for the fact that according to the law it is not right then probably these cars have to be replaced.

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      You seem to be confused. If I sold any product that doesn’t meet legislative requirements (i.e. untested products built during pre-production trials), then the product would be illegal whether customers accepted them at a discounted rate or not.

  • brn

    They’re recalling the cars to find out how different they are from the production vehicles.
    1. You don’t already know how different they are? That’s concerning.
    2. You need to recall them because they’re not legal on the road, no matter how different they are.

    • KareKakk

      My experience with VW Passat B5 pre-production vehicles, which were actually wrecked or sold as “wrecked” for parts back then, was especially the front seats without any side airbags! As these cars were only for various final testing, photoshoots, media usage and so on, VW didn’t bother to spend money on such equipment since the cars would be demolished either way after some weeks or months in service. So someone knows the difference even today, I presume.

  • Belthronding

    vw seems to be running by some gangs & outlaws ,otherwise there is no F way what happens last 4 years.

  • SteersUright

    Who on earth needs to produce 17000 pre-production vehicles???

    • Alex

      Exactly my thought. How much do you have to iron out your manufacturing and certification before its production ready? Is this a standard figure in the industry? Amazing.

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