It has only been a few days since Oliver Schmidt, former Volkswagen executive, was handed a maximum possible sentence by US District Judge Sean Cox. He will have to spend seven years in prison and pay a fine of $400,000. And on December 8, Volkswagen has again been put on the spot. The German automaker urgently had to stop their sales of the T6 Multivan in Germany because it was discovered that the van emits way more nitrogen oxide than what is allowed by local emissions limits.
Der Spiegel magazine said that the findings have already been reported to the KBA, Germany’s motor transport authority. This had been quoted by Automotive News.
What happened is that Volkswagen set the “adjustment factor” too low when they submitted documents to the KBA to have the T6 Multivan’s sales approved, says the German publication. To defend their name, a Volkswagen spokesperson from the commercial vehicle division said that incorrect engine management software is ruled out as a possible reason for these uncertainties.
In the automaker’s official statement, they said that that their department is currently investigating internal reports that it is impossible to fully confirm technical figures in the Conformity of Production audit for the T6 Minivan with diesel engine approval.
Right now, the current T6 Minivan comes equipped with Euro 6 compatible engines. Notably, these were not part of the Dieselgate scandal from two years ago. On the contrary, the automaker’s other commercial vehicles including the Amarok pickup and the Caddy compact van were both involved in the crisis.
As of now, we do not know the exact number of the affected T6 Multivans, and which facility they were assembled in. We also did not get a hold of the information on which engines were affected, and which models were stopped. Lastly, it is unclear whether the T6 Multivan will be back in the market.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand further added that their top priority right now is to clarify the matter and at the same time coordinate and obtain approval for any necessary action in close consultation with the competent authorities.
In other news, while this is happening for Volkswagen, Deutsche Post DHL has been ramping up the production of their all electric model van, with sales to third parties going strong. Having said that, we expect it to go up the ranks and be among the top-selling plug-in vehicles in Europe. Stay tuned for more updates.