Local owners, mechanics weigh in on VW recall scandal
Volkswagen is no longer making certain diesel cars while the government investigates a scheme to rig emissions testing.
The EPA says VW put software on nearly 500,000 cars to cover up potential polluting emissions.
Volkswagen stock plummeted nearly 20 percent Monday morning with the news the EPA could fine the company billions of dollars, knocking off almost $17 billion of the company's market value.
Over the weekend, CEO Martin Winterkorn said, "I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public."
"I think the future of the brand will be fine. I think every time you see something like this you have a tendency to see the stock take a good dip. And then they'll have to defend it," says John Visser.
Visser owns a diesel Beetle.
"The diesel that they put out is a great car," he says.
While he has had no issues with his car, he thinks VW should have to answer to the allegations.
"Well, as an individual who believes highly in the integrity of each individual, I think they need to be held accountable for it if it is an integrity issue," says Visser.
"I don't know of any other situation like it. It is interesting," says Chris Hinson with Bavarian.
Hinson owns Bavarian Auto, which services VWs.
"Any time a manufacturer is skirting the system that does surprise you. It kind of makes you wonder what else is going on behind the scenes," says Hinson.
The mandated recall applies to diesel Jettas, Beetles, Golfs and the Audi A3s made between 2009 and 2014, as well as the 2014-2015 Chattanooga-made diesel Passat.
"We have a lot of TDI customers. Very good cars. Customers are pleased with them in general. But it remains to be seen, once they're brought back within regulations, how pleased the customers are at that time," says Hinson.
He says repairs could possibly affect future performance.
"Depending on what kind of software update is required, performance can be affected, that sort of thing, gas mileage."
The EPA says the carmaker could be hit with fines up to $37,500 per vehicle for the violations, a total of more than $18 billion. It will also have to make repairs at its own expense.
The owner of Village Volkswagen in Chattanooga says owners should hear from VW corporate soon on what repairs are necessary. He says the dealership is fully prepared to assist customers.
The state of Tennessee offered tax breaks, land deals, and other incentives, topping $300 million for VW to build a new SUV in Chattanooga.
The Times Free Press reports Governor Bill Haslam is concerned with the allegations.