Volkswagen and Audi drivers will finally get answers about their defective diesel cars.
Volkswagen announced today it has prepared a "comprehensive action plan" that will inform customers about refitting their cars. The German automaker said it is creating websites to inform affected customers and submitting its "technical solution" to regulators for approval in October.
"An internal evaluation on Friday established that a service procedure is required for some five million vehicles from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand out of a total eleven million Group vehicles worldwide," the company said in a statement. "These vehicles from certain models and model years (such as the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat or the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) are fitted with Type EA 189 diesel engines. All vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy."
Morningstar auto analyst Richard Hilgert called today's announcement regarding the required refit "ambiguous."
"What is unclear is the extent of the 'technical solution' or 'service procedure' mentioned in Volkswagen’s press release that’s needed to make their vehicles emissions compliant," Hilgert told ABC News.
Because the vehicles passed emissions testing when on a dynamometer (a device that measures an engine's power or torque), it’s possible that the fix could be simply a change in the engine control module that contains the illegal software, Hilgert noted.
"At worst, the fix may require that dealers install different or even additional anti-pollution equipment to treat the exhaust gas," he added.
Reuters reported that newly-minted Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller told executives at Volkswagen's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, that the action plan was prepared last weekend. Affected customers may hear from Volkswagen "in the next few days," according to Reuters.
It's been nearly two weeks since the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen's four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009 to 2015 included software that cheated emissions tests. Volkswagen said about 11 million of its cars around the world may be affected.