Volkswagen Canada has suspended sales of diesel models that posted fake emissions results after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) caught the German automaker cheating with a defeat device.
"Volkswagen Canada has issued a stop sale order to our dealers for all vehicles affected by this issue. These include the Jetta, Golf, Golf Sportwagon, Beetle and Passat,” Media Relations Manager Thomas Tetzlaff told Auto123.com. “We at Volkswagen Canada echo the sentiments of Prof. Dr. Winterkorn and will work diligently to rectify this situation.”
After initially announcing that 482,000 units in the U.S. were equipped with special software to detect when they were undergoing emissions tests and activate key control modules during those times to bypass the rules, Volkswagen now says up to 11 million vehicles worldwide could be affected.
“We totally screwed up,” admitted Volkswagen USA CEO Michael Horn to CNBC. "We have to make things right, with the government, the public, our customers, our employees and also very important, our dealers. Along with our German headquarters we are committed to do what must be done, and to begin to restore your trust.”
Volkswagen stock melting like snow in July
The initial loss of 20% after the markets opened on Monday has transformed into a 35% drop, representing €25 billion. Volkswagen is even dragging down other automakers such as Peugeot, Renault, Michelin, Porsche, and Fiat Chrysler, whose value fell 3%-18% today. Some of the world’s top stock exchanges inevitably suffered as a result.
La Presse reports that a criminal investigation will be launched in the U.S., where Volkswagen could be hit with a fine of at least $18 billion, plus several class actions (in Canada, as well). As mentioned, up to 11 million vehicles could be affected worldwide, so expect the number of investigations and lawsuits to skyrocket in the next few weeks.
Already, Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn looks to be on the way out, and more heads are going to roll in what can be called “TDIgate.”