VW sales plummet following public outcry and recall
The head of the Australia Automobile Association (AAA) has said that Volkswagen is paying the price for not being honest with customers, as the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) revealed the brand suffered a 19% drop in car sales.
“Motorists have voted with their feet,” Andrew McKellar, executive director of the motoring industry body, told Fairfax, following the recall of nearly 26,000 cars due to safety problems related to Volkswagen’s direct-shift gearboxes (DSG). Affecting five of the brand’s passenger models, similar recalls occurred in Japan, Singapore and China.
FCAI figures revealed this week showed a 5.5% increase in car sales across the whole market, but Volkswagen had sold 1226 fewer cars compared to the same period last year.
The recall was only put into effect after mounting public outcry following the death of a driver in Melbourne in 2011, of which a coronial inquest sparked many more to come forward when it was found a gearbox fault culled cause sudden deceleration.
Fairfax reports that some DSG issues were addressed in the US as early as 2009.
“Volkswagen paid a price for the way in which they handled the recall issue and the fact that they didn’t come out and deal with that issue… in an open, honest and more transparent way,” McKellar says.
McKellar says it’s a reminder to all vehicle makers of the need to be open and honest with customers. “If they try to handle these issues with corporate spin the market will judge them very harshly.”