Authorities are taking longer than expected to certify cars under new, more realistic emissions procedure

 

Volkswagen willl halt production one to two days per week at its Wolfsburg factory, starting in August and ending in late September, because authorities are taking longer than expected to certify cars under the new, more realistic Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) emissions tests.

Reuters reports that Volkswagen’s Zwickau plant will also be closed on select days, although these have not yet been confirmed. 

At a meeting with its works council in Wolfsburg in early June, Volkswagen Group CEO and VW brand boss Herbert Diess announced that the Wolfsburg factory might be forced to temporarily cease production of unspecified model variants from August, a month before WLTP certification becomes a legal requirement within the European Union.

Diess told the works council: “Within the Volkswagen brand alone, we need to test more than 200 model variants and have them type-approved within a very short space of time. To master this challenge, our test rigs have been and will be operated virtually round the clock.”

A VW statement clarified that there is at least three times the amount of testing to be done compared with previous testing routines, meaning the company’s testing rigs are in constant demand and are now in operation 24 hours a day to catch up.

“We must expect production interruptions in the third quarter,” said Diess. “After the works holidays in Wolfsburg, we will only be making vehicles that meet the new standards. Vehicles will be delivered step by step as soon as the type approvals required are available. Nevertheless, we will need to store a large number of vehicles on an interim basis. To ensure that this number does not become too large, we will need to plan closure days for production in Wolfsburg during the period between the works holidays and the end of September.”

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Chairman of the works council, Bernd Osterloh, protested at the proposed production halts, saying: “It is not the fault of our colleagues that the company has built too few test rigs over the years and can suddenly not handle the test volume required. We will not allow this burden to be borne by the workforce alone at the end of the day. Our colleagues in production are not responsible for this situation.” 

WLTP was introduced to replace the outdated and at times unreliable New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) tests in the aftermath of VW's Dieselgate emissions scandal.

VW R&D boss Frank Welsch told Autocar last month: “The problem is not having the technical solutions but what you have to have before [certification].

"By 1 September, everything needs to be fixed, done and certified. That’s all of our portfolio, and our portfolio is big. We’re not prepared for new certification for all of our cars in one year, with access to test benches, equipment, wind tunnels and so on, and it’s the same for our suppliers.

"Now, it’s all in a couple of months. We need more time, more test benches, more people at the [test] authorities.

“Some engines will not be available for two months or so. We have solutions but not the tests available. So in some cars, we will not have all the engines.”

VW will not be alone in having to suspend production due to delays over WLTP certification.

Audi, Mini, Peugeot and Porsche have all been forced to halt sales of some models, while BMW ended production of the M3 rather than alter it to meet WLTP standards.

Autocar has approached VW for comment.

Read more: 

Inside Volkswagen's Wolfsburg production plant

New WLTP emissions test could force heavy discounts on unsold cars

New WLTP emissions test: when it's in force and how it could affect your car

Analysis: Are car makers ready for WLTP?

Car makers subject to new EU regulatory laws after Volkswagen scandal

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Comments
18

6 June 2018

We have not been cheating, but did not have enough resources to undertake all the tests to the high quality standards that would be normally acceptable to our Boards.That is VW Audi.

6 June 2018

Time to develop new Software :)

 

6 June 2018

..... wink wink nudge nudge....

6 June 2018

Neither the Passat nor the Golf GTE models are available for order - "Due to unprecidented demand, leading to long delivery lead times". 

This applies only in the UK. Its possible to order UK spec cars in other EU countries.

How can VW jusify this? Is it legal under free trade rules?

A suspicious mind might conclude that VW UK are artificially limiting supplies of hybrids models in order to shift diesels that nobody wants.

6 June 2018
Is that good or bad? If you like Volkswagens then I guess it's bad. If like me you think there is already too many of these look-alike boxes on our roads, then a production halt could provide us a little welcome break from the monotony of this extreme exercise in monopolised cloning.

6 June 2018

Have already had their range certified, I realise, they dont have as many variations as VW, but they have more than Porsche or Mini.  Something smells a little bit suspicious..  

6 June 2018

The Chairman of the works council surely isn't surprised at VW management's attitude to the welfare of its workforce. They showed little concern for the risks to its shop floor workers when they embarked on cheating the emission regulations.

6 June 2018

The rules for WLTP were only finalised about a year as ago as far as I know. I can imagine that with 200 variants for VW, you need to be able to fully test one variant in less than 48 hours, which I can imagine is probably quite a challange. I would like to see those people just pointing fingers try and organise that.

7 June 2018
armstrm wrote:

The rules for WLTP were only finalised about a year as ago as far as I know. I can imagine that with 200 variants for VW, you need to be able to fully test one variant in less than 48 hours, which I can imagine is probably quite a challange. I would like to see those people just pointing fingers try and organise that.

Biggest car companay in the world (or thereabouts) cannot organise certification of its own car range.....dont be so naive.

6 June 2018

"because authorities are taking longer than expected"

The article goes on to explain that VW themselves cannot great through the backlog on testing as well as already tested vehicles that are still awaiting certification are combining to the induce the productions halts. I'm sure on both sides that no one wants to fall short where the VW family brands are concerned given the history. Interesting to see operations finally loosing their rag with the guys in development...   

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