VW head in New Zealand 'gutted' by scandal
Volkswagen New Zealand general manager Tom Ruddenklau says he is "gutted" over revelations that manufacturers in the US intentionally cheated fuel emission tests, saying it was hard to quantify how long it would take the brand to recover.
Earlier in the week, Ruddenklau said New Zealand was not involved with the scandal in any way.
This came after it emerged that manufacturers in the US had intentionally tampered with almost half a million cars to cheat diesel emissions tests to make the cars look more environmentally friendly.
Ruddenklau confirmed that none of the cars sold in New Zealand were from the US.
However, new evidence has emerged suggesting the software used to cheat the tests may have been used on more cars worldwide than first thought.
Ruddenklau would not comment on whether there would be a recall of affected cars. He said the company would let customers know when it received more information.
"[The damage to the brand] is hard to quantify. From my point of view I'm just quite upset and quite gutted about it really," Ruddenklau said.
The editor of the Dog and Lemon Guide Clive Matthew-Wilson said if cars in New Zealand were affected there would inevitably be a recall, adding that Volkswagen was likely to see tough times for a while.
"This issue could well force Volkswagen out of the US market. Despite good sales recently, Volkswagen has lost billions in America, and it's hard to see them continuing in a market that will be universally hostile from now on," he said.