Amid the controversy surrounding emissions ratings, Volkswagen’s production of the diesel-powered 2016 Passat midsize sedans at the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee has been suspended. This was confirmed by company spokesperson Scott Wilson.
The stop in production is happening in the middle of a plan to increase the production of this Passat. Notably, VW dealerships will begin receiving the gasoline-powered 2016 Passats late in November or the early part of next month.
Via an email sent to media, Wilson said that the company’s plan to boost production is underway and that he doesn’t see a problem in making adjustments in order to cope with the changes.
If this sounds vague to you, that’s because VW has always been less than forthright about providing information on how big the output is and what the mix of the models are.
VW admitted that production of diesel-powered Passat units had continued after September 18, which is when the news blew up about EPA finding out that software inside VW’s 2.0-liter diesel had caused the emissions level to be rated lower than it actually was. Since that date, no 2016 models have been sold.
The EPA also revealed that on Oct. 7, VW took back its application for its 2016 2.0-liter diesel models to be certified by the agency. Wilson claims that he doesn’t know the date of when production was stopped. However, it’s believed that it happened in the past few weeks.
Last Sept. 30, an Automotive News report revealed that Wilson had said that production of the Passat TDI was continuing and that those that have rolled out will not be given to dealerships and have been stored. The situation remained unchanged at least until the middle of October.
Wilson explained that nothing has been changed in the plans made for the shop floor and that construction is ongoing according to schedule for the production of a new midsize crossover that’s set to begin in late 2016.
Last October, a total of 8,116 Passat units were delivered in the U.S. – a 25% increase for the month. However, its sales have fallen by 12% to 71,852 units for the January to October 2015 period.