What started as the #Dieselgate scandal involving Volkswagen cheating on emissions tests has led to a new consequence: 37 diesel graveyards scattered around North America.
What Is #Dieselgate?
The #Dieselgate scandal revolves around Volkswagen using software to defeat emissions tests in the United States. Volkswagen has admitted to circumventing emissions tests on more than 550,000 cars in the U.S. Around the world, the total number of affected cars could reach 11 million.
Volkswagen already has agreed to paying $14.7 billion in charges. This includes compensating people who bought the vehicles as well as paying to mitigate environmental damage.
But with so many cars being sold back to Volkswagen by owners, the question is: Where did all those cars go?
The #Dieselgate Graveyards
Owners of the models affected by the scandal had three choices: bring the car back to Volkswagen and let them make it compliant; end the lease if it was a leased vehicle; or sell it back to Volkswagen. About 350,000 took the buy-back option, costing Volkswagen more than $7.4 billion.
Faced with finding a place to put all the cars, Volkswagen has been flying by the seat of its corporate pants. They have 37 places around the country to park the cars, according to NPR. They include:
- The Southern California Logistics Airport, a massive desert parking area near Victorville, Calif., that is already being used for 150 retired planes.
- The Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions, has a parking lot full of Volkswagens. The city of Pontiac also has fined the dilapidated stadium’s current owner for improperly storing the vehicles.
So far, Volkswagen has resold about 13,000 vehicles and destroyed about 28,000. Some also have been stolen from the Silverdome parking lot. With a little less than 300,000 left, the German car company is trying to decide what to do with the remaining cars.
The Staggering Scope of #Dieselgate
The #Dieselgate scandal was massive in both scope and the depths Volkswagen went to cheat on emissions tests. They had done so since 2008, according to Consumer Reports.
Consumer Reports lists 13 affected cars. They include diesel versions from some years and models of the Volkswagen Beetle, Passat, Jetta and Touareg. Also affected were some versions of the Audi A3, A6 Quattro, A7 Quattro, A8, Q5 and Q7. Some versions of the Porsche Cayenne also are on the list.
The models could meet the standards for a laboratory test. But software that can test real-world driving emissions found the cars emitted up to 40 times more than the allowed amount, according to Consumer Reports.
Volkswagen admitted to putting the vehicles into a special test mode for government emissions tests. Research conducted by Consumer Reports shows the special mode also increased fuel efficiency results on many models.