Volkswagen dealers across Canada have resumed selling their diesel vehicles that were held in inventory since the scandal over emissions cheating broke back in 2015.
The vehicles – Golfs, Jettas, Passats and Beetles – are from the 2015 model year. They were given a good cleanup and put into showrooms in a relatively quiet way.
However, one dealer featured the diesel models returning to the sales floor by prominently displaying them on its website, indicating that the vehicles received an update to software that was the first of a two-stage process to bring them into compliance with laws for emissions control.
The second part of the process that involves modification of the engine is still not available.
Higher prices for fuel in Canada, in large part due to taxes, made diesel engines popular across the country. Prior to the scandal, diesels at one time represented about 25% of the sales for some models of VWs in Canada, in particular the ever-popular Golf.
Back in September of 2015, in what it called a voluntary move, VW Canada halted its sales of new as well as used vehicles that used software that was emissions cheating and said the incident was being investigated by Environment Canada, which is the regulator for the country. The investigation continues to date without any findings being released.
On Thursday, it was reported by Automotive News Canada that sales had resumed of the different diesel models. Environment Canada on Friday said that it could no comments on sales being resumed.
Volkswagen Canada announced that it did not have anyone to speak related to the situation, while in Germany at headquarters of its parent company no comment was forthcoming.
The combination of the emissions scandal and the improvements that followed in certain models, particularly in Golfs, means cars that were kept off the floors of dealerships are heavily discounted.
One deal in Vancouver is offering $7,000 in discounts for cash sales and about $5,000 with plus zero interest financing for clients looking for credit.
Through a letter to owners responding to the scandal over emissions, Volkswagen Canada said the initial fix of it software and its second stage involving the additions of hardware control emissions, affect the technical functions in some operating conditions.
However, there was not expected to be any changes of a significant nature in the fuel consumption or the driving characteristics.