Estimating Cost of the Volkswagen Diesel Recall Proving Difficult
Yesterday, Volkswagen made it official. The German automaker announced that it will be recalling up to 11 million vehicles to rectify emissions systems that skirt testing. The #Dieselgate recall will start in January, meaning that while 2014 was called “The Year of the Recall,” 2016 will be “The Year of the VW Recall.” So how much will this whole thing cost? NPR’s Marketplace program took a look at the total cost of this recall—both for the manufacturer and consumers—and the short answer is: We don't know. RELATED: Making Sense of the Volkswagen Diesel Dilemma
When a manufacturer is required to issue a recall, it not only has to pay for the repairs, but incur many other expenditures related to the issue. This includes shipping the parts, and paying the lawyers, PR experts and crisis management experts that may be involved with getting the company through the recall period. Grasping the total cost of all these moving parts is almost unfathomable.
RELATED: Five Diesel Alternatives to the Affected Volkswagen Cars
One must also consider the fact that not every owner is going to bring their car in for service. As the report points out, this is not a safety issue, like the Takata airbag recalls of last year. This fix to these affected cars will likely reduce engine power and fuel economy. Perhaps if they plan on reselling the car in the future they will bring it in, but if an owner plans on driving the car “into the ground,” the might not get the fix.
As such there are tons of variables at play. Regardless, Volkswagen said the $7.3 billion that it set aside to address this issue will not be enough to cover mounting costs.
RELATED: What to Know About the Class Action Suit Against Volkswagen