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VW to replace dodgy diesel engines

VW to “refit” dodgy diesel engines, but not in all countries

UPDATE: Aussie VW owners won't get new engines.

Volkswagen is due to replace or “refit” the diesel engines with a “cheat” mode in 11 million Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda cars in the world’s most expensive recall.

Car giant Volkswagen has vowed to "refit" the engines in the 11 million cars globally fitted with a dodgy diesel motor that was designed to cheat emissions tests.

Based on conservative estimates of $10,000 per engine replacement, the cost is likely to blow out to a mind-boggling $110 billion, which would make it the world’s most expensive recall.

However, an update overnight has revealed that not all cars will require new engines.

VWSkoda and Audi owners in Australia are still in the dark on which cars are affected despite the scandal going global more than a week ago, and VW head office being advised of the unfolding drama almost a month ago.

However, a News Corp Australia investigation has found at least 50,000 diesel VW cars were sold in the affected period from 2009 to 2015. More than 20,000 Audi diesel cars were also sold locally over the same six years.

Related: Lawyers weigh in on VW diesel scandal
More: Is BMW about to join VW diesel scandal?
Also:  Does the VW diesel scandal affect you?

This would bring the cost of diesel engine replacements in Australia to an estimated $700 million.

While VW and Audi executives in Australia have been banned from talking to the media, instead redirecting inquiries to Germany, News Corp Australia understands both brands are in the process of advising the Federal Government which cars are affected and what action may be taken.

Customers are expected to be notified by the end of the week, News Corp Australia has been told.

Meanwhile a statement issued by VW in Germany said the company has announced an "action plan to refit diesel vehicles with EA 189 EU5 engines" and that the "technical solutions being developed ... will be presented to responsible authorities before end of October".

More than 2 million Audis sold with emissions-cheating software

The company added new vehicles with the latest generation EU6 diesel engines — that is, those in showrooms today — are "not affected".

Despite this, VW diesel cars have been banned from sale in the US, Canada and Switzerland until the crisis is resolved.

But diesel cars have not been withdrawn or banned from sale locally.

Interestingly, 85 per cent of survey respondents "think it is likely that emissions-rigging has occurred at other manufacturers"

Australia has among the weakest emissions regulations in the developed world, lagging behind the US and Europe. But diesel VWs sold in Australia are likely to be caught up in the drama because our emissions standards are not 35 times weaker than the rest of the world.

The independent testing that exposed the scandal found the emissions of certain VW models were 35 times over the limit.

While the long-term cost to VW is yet to be calculated, one of Australia’s largest fleet-leasing companies, Fleetcare, says up to 70 per cent of potential VW buyers will now look elsewhere.

A statement from Fleetcare said: "68 per cent of drivers say the scandal will affect their possible future purchases of VW cars" and "71 per cent said they would be expect to be compensated if they had diesel cars that needed fixing".

Interestingly, 85 per cent of survey respondents "think it is likely that emissions-rigging has occurred at other manufacturers".

To date no other car manufacturer has been busted for cheating diesel emissions tests, but authorities in the US and Europe plan to retest a wide range of diesel cars across all brands in real world conditions.