The VW Amarok will be the first to receive a software update.
The VW Amarok will be the first to receive a software update. Mark Bean

VW Amarok first up for diesel fixes after emissions scandal

FIXES are ready for more than 10,000 Volkswagen utes affected by the worldwide emissions scandal.

Software changes, which Volkswagen says will have no impact on performance or fuel economy while still delivering the correct amount of CO2 as originally quoted, are waiting to be approved by the Federal Government.

The utes will be the first of more than 80,000 vehicles to receive fixes.

Offending Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi vehicles were last year found to be using "cheat" software, allowing the engines to run in a different mode during emissions testing, falsifying emissions data to make the engines appear cleaner than they were.

Volkswagen has sent letters to all customers impacted by the recall, detailing they will again be contacted when a fix is finalised.

Communication advising of the steps being taken have also been sent to all Volkswagen customers not affected to help limit further brand damage.

The Amarok utes will be the first vehicles to receive the changes, followed by Passats.

"It's a process and that's why we are moving through the cars model by model," said Volkswagen public relations manager Kurt McGuiness.

Michael Sohnap

Audi Australia said it is waiting for approval from Federal Office of Motor Vehicles (KBA) before recalling vehicles.

"Audi is yet to hear when we can start rollout of the first vehicles. Engine waves will start in 2016 and we anticipate the first will go ahead soon," said Anna Burgdorf, Audi Austraia general manager corporate communications.

Volkswagen sales figures in Australia have failed to falter in the wake of the scandal. While initially forecasting an annual improvement of about 15% last year, the marque still finished with a record sales.

"In Australia buyers have taken a pragmatic approach to this," Mr McGuiness said.

"Globally there has been a shift from new cars to actually dealing with the problem. The business's focus is in another direction.

"If it was a normal year we would be looking at launching cars and technology but there is obviously the additional piece we are working on."

The proposed Amarok fixes are currently with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development - but no timeframe has been confirmed.

"Motor vehicle recalls are administered by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010," a statement said.

"The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development assists the ACCC in this role by providing technical advice about the Australian Design Rules, which are national safety standards established under the Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989 and vehicle safety.  The Department is currently considering information provided by Volkswagen."



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