Volkswagen to stash cars at Berlin's problem airport

June 27, 2018
Combining Germany's national embarrassments

Car giant Volkswagen will stock cars awaiting strict new emissions tests at Berlin's under-construction airport, combining the German national embarrassments of the carmaker's "dieselgate" scandal and the much-delayed travel hub.

"In this case, our normal logistics spaces aren't enough," a Volkswagen spokesman told AFP on Wednesday, saying the firm faces delays to on between 200,000 and 250,000 cars.

The firm will store vehicles at VW's testing grounds near its Wolfsburg HQ as well as the Berlin airport and "is looking into other spaces," he added.

Like other carmakers, VW is scrambling to adapt to a new emissions testing regime known as the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure or WLTP, forcing it to slow production in Wolfsburg as well as storing untested cars.

WLTP is designed to more accurately reflect vehicles' emissions performance under real driving conditions, making it longer and more complex than previous procedures.

Volkswagen for years fooled regulators under previous testing regimes.

It admitted in 2015 to building software known as a "defeat device" into 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, reducing in the lab but allowing them to shoot up in on-road driving.

Other carmakers like Daimler and BMW have since fallen under suspicion and this year were forced to recall thousands of vehicles for software updates.

As a blow to Germany's pride in its engineering prowess and reputation for honesty in business, the endless, convoluted "dieselgate" scandal has been matched in recent years only by the succession of disasters at Berlin's new international airport.

First slated to open in 2011, the opening of the hub named for former Chancellor Willy Brandt has been repeatedly pushed back over issues ranging from fire safety to structural integrity.

Meanwhile, one former manager at the project was jailed in 2016 for accepting a bribe and prosecutors said last year they were probing another.

Authorities now hope to open the doors—another of the many technical problems at the troubled —by October 2020.

Explore further: German prosecutors raid Audi boss over diesel cheating

Related Stories

Germany hits Mercedes with mass diesel recall (Update)

June 11, 2018

Germany ordered Monday the recall of some 774,000 vehicles from Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler across Europe, citing illegal "defeat devices" designed to conceal high levels of harmful emissions from regulators' tests.

BMW sued in US over diesel emissions

March 28, 2018

German luxury carmaker BMW has been sued in the United States over "defeat devices" installed in tens of thousands of vehicles in order to cheat diesel emissions tests, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

EU set to fine Google billions over Android: sources

July 17, 2018

The EU is set to fine US internet giant Google several billion euros this week for freezing out rivals of its Android mobile phone system, sources said, in a ruling that risks fresh tensions with Washington.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.