Volkswagen’s US sales plummet 25% over cheating scandal
German carmaker, Volkswagen, says its sales in US market have fallen 25 percent last month after it suspended selling diesel in the United States due to an emissions cheating scandal.
According to announcement on Tuesday, the company froze sales of diesel car models in the United States on November 4 after new accusations were leveled against it about the use of software that cheats on emissions tests, AFP reported.
According to company officials, the suspension affects about 20 percent of its typical sales but appears to have also impacted non-diesel models.
Volkswagen’s total sales fell to 23,882 units in November, down by nearly 8,000 vehicles compared to a year ago.
The automaker sold 5,462 TDI diesel vehicles in November 2014, the company’s spokeswoman told AFP.
“Volkswagen was lucky to hold its own in the months immediately following the revelation of the emissions problems, but its luck on sales ran out in November,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader, who added, “Volkswagen will take a long time to dig out from under this, but the very first step needs to be a clear and comprehensive plan for fixing it, and that does not appear to be forthcoming soon.”
Volkswagen has been engulfed in scandal since September.
The group, previously regarded as a paragon of German industry, revealed in late September that 11 million of its diesel cars worldwide were equipped with devices that can cheat pollution tests. The revelation rapidly snowballed into a scandal, which wiped a third off the company’s market capitalization in just two days.
The trigger to the company’s market woes came when it was revealed by the US Environmental Protection Agency that VW rigged nearly half a million cars to pass US smog tests.
The company told US regulators that it intentionally installed software programmed to switch engines to a cleaner mode during official emissions testing. The software then switches off again, enabling cars to drive more powerfully on the road while emitting as much as 40 times the legal pollution limit.
US officials say similar software is on the company’s larger 3.0 liter diesel engines, used in Volkswagens, Audis and Porsche SUVs.
The world’s number-two automaker faces regulatory and criminal investigations in several countries, including Germany and the United States, and potentially billions of dollars in fines.
“Volkswagen is working tirelessly on an approved remedy for the affected TDI vehicles,” Mark McNabb, chief operating officer, Volkswagen of America, said in a statement, adding, “During this time we would like to thank our dealers and customers for their continued patience and loyalty.”
The scandal has continued to widen, with the German automaker subsequently revealing that it had understated carbon dioxide emissions, including those for gasoline engines, for up to 800,000 vehicles.