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ATL Automotive says Jamaica’s VWs not affected by emissions scandal

Published:Sunday | September 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMNeville Graham

ATL Automotive, local dealers for Volkswagen and its luxury brand Audi, say they are not affected by the present problems facing the German automaker, which is under fire for rigging emissions tests on diesel vehicles since 2009.

Stephen Hector, Global PR Director for Sandals, to whom ATL Group CEO Adam Stewart referred comment, says the affected engines are not among those imported in VW motor vehicles for the local market.

"The current situation is related purely to emission testing software in specific engines which we do not import to Jamaica. We import only the latest generation engines from Volkswagen and so it is not relevant to our market," Hector said.

Volkswagen AG has said the scandal may cover has many as 11 million vehicles worldwide and has set aside euro6.5 billion to deal with it.

The diesel engines being tested by American regulators would show lower level readings for pollutants and particulates that they would under normal driving conditions.

VW CEO Martin Winterkorn stepped down last week. He has been replaced by the head of VW's Porsche Division, Mathias Mueller, whose appointment was announced Friday.

"The irregularities that have been found in our group's diesel engines go against everything Volkswagen stands for. At present we do not yet have all the answers to all the questions. But we are working hard to find out exactly what happened. To do that, we are putting everything on the table, as quickly, thoroughly and transparently as possible," Winterkorn said in a statement Wednesday as he stepped down as CEO.

ATL Automotive sells a range of VW and Audi passenger vehicles including the Polo, Golf, Jetta, Passat and the Tiguan for VW and the A1-A6 along with the Q3-Q7 SUVs for Audi.

Checks by Sunday Business indicate that diesel engine cars are not very popular in Jamaica. Just a few VW Polos sometimes carry the 1.4-litre engine. The VW Tiguan comes with a range of engines from 1.4-litre petrol to 2-litre diesel.

The affected VW engines involved in the scandal are 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines, which ATL emphasised are not for the Jamaican market.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com