The Economy Minister today announced that there are about 117,000 vehicles in Portugal affected by the emissions fraud committed by Volkswagen. These vehicles need to be corrected and he estimated these problems should be solved over the next year.
Previously the minister said that he had spoken with management at Volkswagen’s Autoeuropa plant at Palmela, later assuring everyone that the "vehicles produced in Portugal in recent years, do not have the special fraudulent kit incorporated. I have every reason to believe Autoeuropa."
Either none of the affected vehicles came from the Palmela plant, or the minister has been deceived.
According to information released today to the media by Pires de Lima, at the end of a meeting of the new working group, there are 102,140 Volkswagens, Audis and Skodas that are "using fraudulent kit that distorts exhaust emission data" plus about 15,000 Seats affected.
According to the minister, Volkswagen pledged today to present by the end of November "a more accurate and detailed timetable" for the recall and correction of these vehicles.
"Fraud has technical costs, but can also have fiscal costs," said the minister referring to the CO2 emissions from the engines concerned and possible action against the German manufacturer.
The working group set up by the Government has to submit a full report by November 2nd.
As for Volkswagen’s plan to invest in the Palmela plant, spending €670 million and creating 500 jobs between 2014 and 2019, Pires de Lima issued a message of confidence about the investment deal that was signed just over a year ago, "we have had no sign from Volkswagen that would jeopardise the plan that was approved by the State."
Volkswagen already has stated that it is to reduce its annual investmnet by €1 billion but has not stated which countries and plant will be affected.
The Portuguese working group "aims to monitor and evaluate the courses of action and the impact of the Volkswagen crisis, ensuring respect for the environment, taxation, consumer rights and the protection and safeguarding of the Portuguese state’s interests."
The Volkswagen Group produces the Volkswagen Eos, Scirocco and Sharan and Seat Alhambra at the Autoeuropa plant.
Pires de Lima has scheduled a telephone conversation for this Friday with the new CEO of Volkswagen, Matthias Mueller, in order to ensure that the investment €677 million investment at in Autoeuropa is still on.
The government has no indications that the Palmela factory is part of the cuts announced this week but the minister wants the agreed investment assured.
Contrary to the agreement in Portugal, other countries have received guarantees that investments by the group are to continue. In Spain the government was informed last week that Volkswagen will keep investments totaling €4.2 billion.
In Italy, VW has said it will follow with its €1.4 billion investment, half of which is to produce a new Lamborghini, a subsidiary of the German group.
The German group has acknowledged the existence of 11 million vehicles that have the dodgy software fitted.