VW announced, to much fanfare, last month that it would begin repairs on vehicles in Germany with the rigged diesel engines. The company said that it was finally taking steps to address its mistakes, causing consumers to breathe a bit easier, believing that the faulty emissions software might actually be repaired. Though VW has indeed started, the repair process remains in very early stages and, at the current rate, may take decades to fully resolve.
Since beginning its repairs, Volkswagen has said that it fixed 4,300 vehicles. This may sound like a reasonably large number; it’s not. The problem is it pales in comparison to the number of affected vehicles. There are 2.4 million impacted vehicles in Germany. VW’s current repair rate is 1,400 vehicles per week. If the current rate continues, experts say the company won’t be finished repairing the faulty engines until 2048.
Though the company hopes to increase its speed, the magnitude of the problem should give anyone pause. Currently, VW is repairing 1,400 vehicles per week. To be able to process all the impacted cars within a year (not a short amount of time) would require the company to up the rate to 46,000 vehicles per week, a tremendous increase. Whether that kind of improvement is even possible, no one knows.
The reason for the slow pace of repair is that the problem is an incredibly complicated one to fix. Not only is the software that caused the faulty emissions reading technologically complex, but fixes must be created for different vehicle types and different engines, meaning a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Also, there are the practical aspects of a recall that must be addressed. Customers have to be notified, appointments scheduled, loaner cars arranged, etc. The whole thing simply takes a lot of time.
Though progress is definitely slow in Germany, it’s actually better than what’s happening here in the U.S. VW has yet to begin any repairs for the vehicles impacted here, because the company and U.S. regulators are at an impasse about how to address the problem. Regulators have refused to sign off on the fixes proposed by VW, saying the engineering solutions fail to sufficiently resolve the problem. VW says it is working hard to reach an acceptable solution and is eager to begin repairing impacted American vehicles. The company said that it believes it will be able to stick to its plan of finishing most repairs by the end of this year, though experts aren’t quite so sure.
If you have a vehicle that is subject to a recall, please call Kilpatrick & Philley for a free consultation. We have experience in pursuing claims such as that subject recall as we have been active in the BP litigation as well as other Mass Tort claims. Please let our friendly staff of attorneys help with your claim.