Volkswagen recalls 61,000 cars in Australia to fix diesel emissions cheating software

VOLKSWAGEN has gained approval from the Federal Government to commence recall work on 61,000 cars with software that can cheat diesel emissions tests.

While recalls have already begun on up to 11 million VW cars caught up in the “diesegate” scandal overseas — and vehicles in the US are being bought back in a landmark $20 billion settlement — affected models in Australia are among the last to be addressed.


A statement from Volkswagen Australia says “software solutions” are available for 35,000 vehicles immediately, the remainder will be done next year.

This is in addition to the recall of 9000 Amarok diesel utes issued earlier this year.

Affected vehicles will undergo a software update and some “minor” mechanical changes at Volkswagen dealers free of charge.

The recall comes as Volkswagen Australia continues to face two cases in the Federal Court.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accused the German car maker of “misleading conduct”.

An open class action is being jointly undertaken by Bannister Law and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers; even VW diesel owners who have not signed up for the case will still receive a benefit if one is awarded.

Up to 11 million VW diesel cars are caught up in the scandal globally. Photographer: Jochen Eckel / Bloomberg.

Volkswagen believes Australian customers are not entitled to compensationbecause it claims there will be no adverse affect on its vehicles once the upgrades are made.

“Our confidence in this solution is based on the experience of thousands of Amarok owners in Australia and more than 1.7 million customers internationally who have had the update implemented,” Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch said in a media statement.

“Authorities in Europe conducted a review and certified that following the update, the fuel figures and Co2 emissions originally listed by the manufacturer were confirmed. Engine performance, maximum torque and noise emissions were unaffected,” he said.

What remains unclear is what were the true emissions of Volkswagen diesel cars in Australia — in normal driving conditions rather than in a test lab — before the recall upgrades were made.

In April 2016, Mr Bartsch, said Volkswagen had not breached any local laws.

“There are no regulations in Australia or anywhere in the world that requires us to meet real-world driving emissions tests,” said Mr Bartsch.

“The reality is that no manufacturer is required to provide emissions data based on real-world driving performance.”

Recalls have already commenced on the VW Amarok ute. Picture: Supplied

Owners of affected vehicles will receive a letter from Volkswagen, inviting them to make an appointment with their local dealer.

In the meantime, customers who remain unsure if their vehicle is affected can enter their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) via a link, and, or call 1800 504 076.

How VW was busted:

May 2014

West Virginia University and a couple of clean air campaigners — Peter Mock and John German — complete a real-world driving test that found the toxic emissions in certain VW diesels were up to 35 times higher than what was allowed in the US at that time. The results are forwarded to the US Environmental Protection Agency, VW is formally asked to explain the discrepancy.

December 2014

After initially claiming there must have been a glitch with the diesel cars tested, Volkswagen recalls approximately 500,000 vehicles to address the emissions discrepancies.

May 2015

US authorities conduct follow-up tests on the recalled vehicles and discover they are still belching out too many toxins. None of VW’s explanations for the discrepancy satisfy authorities.

June 2015

VW is warned their latest diesel cars will not be approved for sale until the issue is resolved with the older cars. This is believed to be the first time the US government has been forced to use its powers to stop sales of vehicles that are already in showrooms.

3 September 2015

VW admits to authorities it used software to sidestep US emissions regulations.

18 September 2015

The EPA in the US makes its findings public, VW announces 486,000 cars in the US are affected.

22 September 2015

VW says the number of diesel cars with the cheat mode has climbed to 11 million globally and includes other VW-owned brands such as Audi and Skoda.


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Volkswagen CC (2011-2015)

Passat (2008-2015)

Eos (2008-2014)

Tiguan (2008-2015)

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Amarok (2011-2012)

Audi (certain versions of the following models)

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A3 (previous generation)

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A6 (current generation)

Q5 (current generation 2.0 TDI)

TT (previous generation)


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