Paul Barker's blog: 13 October - A scandal that keeps on giving
13 November 2015
I had vowed not to write another opinion column on the VW scandal, having covered the developing story over the past six weeks.
So you can imagine the rate at which my forehead hit the desk when the announcement came out of Germany that there's a potential 800,000 cars with "irregularities" in determining CO2 levels.
This is the thing that I think most people in the industry hoped wouldn't come. Glib as it sounds, it's one thing to cheat regulators in terms of the air quality tests - serious though the repercussions are in terms of public health, confidence and trust in the industry as a whole - but it's another thing entirely if the company has been cheating the public by selling cars that have cheated the efficiency tests used to market them in the first place.
But, as has been the theme with this whole scandal, information is pretty tricky to come by. Nine days after the company announced these irregularities, mainly affecting 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 diesel engines, it's still not even saying which markets the engines have been sold into, despite an announcement declaring that the company would "immediately start a dialogue with the responsible type-approval agencies [the bodies that approve vehicles for sale in individual countries] regarding the consequences of these findings".
The company's German head office failed to respond to our questions, and a UK spokesman said there was no further information to add to the official statement. Which to my mind means VW is holding back on information that the marketplace is keen to hear, because to keep its word on "immediately" talking to the type-approval agencies it must know which ones it needs to talk to, and therefore which markets are affected.
But as has been the theme with this whole Volkswagen Group scandal, the facts are rather slow to emerge.