Porsche Volkswagen

Porsche boss takes on VW CEO position

Matthias Muller

Matthias Müller will move from his role as Porsche CEO into the Volkswagen Group CEO seat left vacant by the disgraced Martin Winterkorn.

On his appointment Müller said: “My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group—by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation.

“Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry.”

Of course, you’d expect there to be glowing praise for Müller coming from inside Volkswagen and Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of the Group Works Council, has stepped up stating: “When it comes to leadership appointments the Volkswagen Group does not need hasty decisions. We know and value Matthias Müller for his determination and decisiveness. He does not work on his own, rather he is a team player. That is what Volkswagen needs now.”

Müller began his Volkswagen Group with Audi in the 1970s and and has also held positions with Seat, Lamborghini and Volkswagen during his rise to the top of the Volkswagen Group tree.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen says that five million of the 11 million vehicles affected worldwide by the noxgate scandal are Volkswagen products and those fitted with the affected EA189 2.0 TDI engines include the Golf VI, Passat VII and Tiguan.

Dr Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand stressed: “We are working at full speed on a technical solution that we will present to partners, to our customers and to the public as swiftly as possible. Our aim is to inform our customers as quickly as possible, so that their vehicles comply fully with regulations. I assure you that Volkswagen will do everything humanly possible to win back the trust of our customers, the dealerships and the public.”

For its part Volkswagen Australia remains eerily silent on the issue, with no official press releases or comment on its website about the noxgate drama.

Audi Video Volkswagen

Volkswagen CEO’s mea culpa on noxgate

Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, offers up this mea culpa in response to noxgate; the diesel NOx emissions issue which Volkswagen says affects up to 11 million vehicles worldwide.

In a new statement Volkswagen says all new diesel vehicles which meet EU6 emissions are not affected by this scandal. However, if your diesel powered Volkswagen or Audi A3 is powered by an EA189 2.0 TDI engine then your car is right in the middle of the deceit which Volkswagen has overseen.

For some technical explanation as to why Volkswagen might have thought cheating emissions tests was a good idea, check out this reddit thread.

This is going to be a very sticky mess for Volkswagen to extricate itself from.

If you own a car affected by this deceit please tell us below how you feel. Can Volkswagen ever win back your trust?

Audi Volkswagen

Volkswagen shares go up in smoke


Volkswagen’s shares have plummeted more than 18% in Germany as the company suffers the fallout from its diesel emissions scandal in the United States.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency Volkswagen and Audi are in breach of California’s Clean Air Act after the manufacturers created software to deliberately cheat emissions testing. As a result, the EPA claims four-cylinder diesel powered models built between 2009–15 emit as much as 40 times more nitrogen oxides (NOx) than tests showed.

Over 480,000 vehicles are affected and Volkswagen could face penalties of up to US$18 billion, with fines of US$37,500 per vehicle in breach of the relevant laws.

“Using a defeat device in cars to evade clean air standards is illegal and a threat to public health,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Working closely with the California Air Resources Board, EPA is committed to making sure that all automakers play by the same rules. EPA will continue to investigate these very serious matters.”

For its part Volkswagen is preparing to take its medicine with Martin Winterkorn, Volkswagen AG CEO, issuing a statement apologising for the breaches.

“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Winterkorn said. “We will cooperate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly, and completely establish all of the facts of this case.

“We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules or of the law,” Winterkorn added. “The trust of our customers and the public is and continues to be our most important asset.”

Affected diesel-powered models include:

  • Audi A3 (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Beetle (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Golf (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Jetta (Model Years 2009–2015)
  • Passat (Model Years 2009–2015)
Safety Issues Volkswagen

Volkswagen Australia announces voluntary recall


As expected Volkswagen has this morning announced an official recall. The announcement only covers vehicles fitted with a 7-speed DSG transmission (DQ200) built from June 2008 to September 2011. Notices will go out to affected owners from next month. There is no word yet on an official recall for diesel powered models that may be affected by injector issues. Here is Volkswagen’s statement in full:

Volkswagen Group Australia Announces Voluntary Recall

Volkswagen Group Australia today announced a voluntary recall for 25,928 vehicles fitted with 7-speed DSG gearbox (DQ200).

Vehicles affected include Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy and were produced between June 2008 and September 2011.

In isolated cases, an electronic malfunction in the control unit inside the gearbox mechatronics may result in a power interruption. Other important vehicle systems, such as steering and braking, along with other relevant systems, will continue to be fully functional. If, in rare cases, the car loses power while driving, the driver can remain in control to safely manoeuvre the car to a stop.

Volkswagen vehicles currently being produced and sold are not affected by this issue. Australian customers can have trust, peace of mind and confidence when purchasing a new Volkswagen vehicle.

Volkswagen Group Australia will replace the gearbox mechatronic unit on all potentially affected vehicles at no cost to the customer. At the same time, we will also update customers’ vehicles with the latest software version.

Starting from July, owners of the affected vehicles will be contacted directly by Volkswagen Group Australia about the voluntary recall.

The invitation letters to schedule appointments for inspection and replacement of affected parts will be sent out in batches to the owners according to car model, production date and the supply of the necessary parts. Owners can continue to drive their vehicles as usual before the replacement.

In Volkswagen owners are invited to call the Customer Service Centre hotline on 1800 504 076 for this and all other technical inquiries Customer satisfaction is Volkswagen’s highest priority.

UPDATE: The ACCC has published a notice regarding the Volkswagen recall (see below). Interestingly they state vehicles built between 2009–2012 are affected, which is different to Volkswagen’s own date range above.

UPDATE #2: The website has been corrected to indicate cars affected were built in 2008–2011. Other edits were made to the text relating to the defects and hazards. You can compare both notices below.


Volkswagen Passat – Australian pricing & specs

Volkswagen Passat

The new Volkswagen Passat has just been released in Australia. There’s three models on offer, all available in sedan and wagon configuration. Pre on-road pricing for the sedan models start at $38,990 for the 118TSI, $43,990 for the 125TDI and $57,990 for the V6 FSI featuring 4motion. Add an extra $2000 if you want the added cargo space offered in the wagon.

There’s some impressive technology featured with the new Passat. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before in more expensive marques, but seeing such things as Fatigue Detection, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and City Emergency Braking filter down to more affordable models is welcomed.

Full details from Volkswagen Australia can be read after the break.


Volkswagen Passat ready to launch in Australia

Volkswagen Passat

Last September, at the Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen gave the world a new Passat. Today, it’s Australia’s turn. Thanks to AUSmotive reader James for sending in these pics, taken near the media launch in Melbourne earlier today.

In basic terms the new Passat represents a steady improvement over its predecessor. The new model is a little bit nicer to look at, too. We’ll have full pricing and specification details as they come to hand.

[Thanks to James for the pics]

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Detroit 2011: Volkswagen Passat (US market)

Volkswagen Passat (US market)

Bigger is better. At least that’s what Volkswagen is telling its North American audience after creating a unique Passat just for them. To clear any confusion the European Passat is our Passat and should be in Australian showrooms sometime after March. Meanwhile, the ‘mericans will have to wait until August to get their hands on their Passat.

The Euro Passat, revealed last September, is too slim for the Yanks. This New Midsize Sedan, then, gets 91mm added to its wheelbase, an extra 13mm to its girth and a whole lot more bland added to its styling. And that’s saying something; the Passat is hardly the most exciting model Volkswagen has ever produced.

If anything their Passat looks like an upsized Jetta. And, let’s face it, if it has been upsized, it must be better. That said, their Passat has also been produced to a price. Starting from US$20,000 their Passat is several thousand bucks cheaper than the old model. Partly helped by the fact their Passat will be made in the US at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant.

Actually, when you consider the current market rates, maybe the joke is on us. We can’t imagine getting our Passat on the roads here for anything less than about AU$45K.

More after the break. Including a really weird video—that fireball is straight from the Jeremy Clarkson school of daft marketing.


Has Volkswagen pulled a New Mediocre Stunt?

It's just a Passat folks!

Last week Volkswagen released a new teaser to let us know they would be unveiling a New Midsize Sedan at Detroit. Word has come through today that this car will be badged as the, wait for it, Passat. Yeah, that’s right, the same name it’s called everywhere else in the world.

So, we went and found a profile pic of the European Passat and placed it over Volkswagen’s teaser image and guess what—it’s a perfect fit!

Until official details are known (possibly later today) let’s give VW the benefit of the doubt and let them think we’re expecting some new details. But, at this stage, it’s looking like any differences between the US Passat and the real Passat are likely to be cosmetic only.

[Source: Autoblog]

UPDATE: Check out Motor Authority for a gallery of leaked images. It’s a super-sized Passat in Jetta clothing.

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Paris 2010: Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen revealed their new Passat at the Paris Motor Show overnight. It is the seventh generation Passat and worldwide sales have amassed 15 million since the first model was introduced in 1973.

Frankly, after the Audi quattro concept and the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento, the new Passat is a bit ho-hum. In truth, it is exactly what you would expect from Volkswagen’s mid-size nameplate. You know it will have a class leading interior. You know it will be well built. You know it will be a safe bet.

The styling is not cutting edge, but there’s enough smart detailing to ensure the overall look is not boring. Mind, the metallic bronze paint and brown leather interior probably tell you a lot about the target market for this new Passat.

There are a raft of engine choices available to European customers. It’s not sure when will be offered to the Australian market just yet, or when the new Passat will arrive. There’s also some new nifty seat/cargo configurations available. And you’ll also find a number of electronic safety systems to ensure the car achieves the expected five-star EuroNCAP crash rating.

Full details after the break.

Drive Thru Volkswagen

Drive Thru: Volkswagen Passat R36

VW Passat R36

The Volkswagen Passat R36 has been around for a while now. After a recent drive, though, I learned the R36 still remains a worthwhile option for those who crave performance from their family car.

Its mid-60s asking price makes it something of a performance bargain in the Volkswagen range. Although, compared to some rivals, the R36 does ask a premium.

Given its R badge, VW reckon this car has some go. And they’re right, too. The R36 is the fastest car Volkswagen currently sells in Australia. You’ll need just 5.6 seconds to propel the sedan to 100km/h, with a further 0.2 seconds in the wagon. At well over 1700kg this is no mean feat, but possible thanks to a 4motion all-wheel drive system and a sublime six-speed DSG transmission, which is mated to one of the most charming engines on the market.

The R36 is powered by a narrow angle 3.6 litre V6 offering 220kW. That’s around 300 horsepower in the old money. It’s an engine that can trace its roots back the Golf VR6 from the 1990s. And the R36 represents the last chance you have to enjoy its delights before Euro V emissions consign it to the history books. A fate that has already claimed the Golf R32.

Motor Shows Volkswagen

Geneva: Volkswagen wants to dominate hybrid market

Volkswagen Golf Hybrid due in 2013

Volkswagen have announced at the Geneva Motor Show that they want in on the hybrid vehicle market. And they want in in a big way. In 2013 Volkswagen will launch hybrid models of the volume-selling Golf and Jetta models. A move VW expects will lead them to “dominate the hybrid and electric vehicle market”.

Indeed, Volkswagen’s Chairman, Professor Martin Winterkorn, has stated, “The goal is to become the market leader in E-mobility by the year 2018.

“We will take the hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models. In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity.”

The move to mass market penetration will begin next year when Volkswagen releases an evaulation fleet of 500 Golf hybrids. Volkswagen also expects electric drive technology to filter across all of its group brands.

Of course, Volkswagen have already dipped their tow into the hybrid market with the new Touareg. Audi, too, has it’s e-tron lineup. And the Porsche 918 Spyder is the undisputed star of the Geneva Motor Show so far.

More after the break.


Volkswagen Passat CC now in Australian showrooms

Volkswagen Passat CC

The Volkswagen Passat CC was first shown to the Australian public at the 2008 Sydney International Motor Show. Now, the sleek coupé-like Passat is available for sale at your local Volkswagen dealer. As revealed exclusively last year, pricing for the two available models is $54,990 for the 125kW 2.0 TDI and $65,990 for the 220kW 3.6 V6 FSI 4MOTION. Volkswagen’s now familiar six speed DSG transmission is the only option for either model.

The four-seater Passat CC offers some new technology for the Australian market, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist braking system and Adaptive Chassis Control. Deliberately positioned as a luxury vehicle, there’s plenty of bling on offer, too, such as a large glass panoramic roof and climate controlled leather seats.

The 2.0 litre TDI has a luxury car tax beating fuel consumption figure of 6.3l/100km. While the V6 is a more of a ‘I have power and I don’t care’ option, with a combined consumption of 10.5l/100km.

Full Australian press release below, along with more wallpaper sized pics (accessed by clicking on smaller versions).