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VW emissions scandal having little impact locally: dealer

LOWER TRURO – Whatever the eventual fallout from the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the issue hasn't created much of a stir locally, according to the owner of a Truro dealership.

Derek Lugar of Vantage Motors in Lower Truro says Volkswagen customers are remaining positive in light of the recent emissions rigging scandal.

"It really hasn't had a great effect, other than we get to talk to lots of our customers in the meantime," said Derek Lugar of Vantage Motors.

"Most people are pretty positive actually," he said.

"Most of our customers enjoy their cars, like their cars and are just sort of concerned lightly going forward. It's the people that are probably less familiar with our brand that have a little more of an issue with it. But Volkswagen is a big company; they've been around a long time, they're going to get it right, in that they'll make it right."

Volkswagen, Europe's largest car maker, recently admitted to cheating on its diesel engine emissions tests, a factor that has halted all car sales on four models: Beetles, Golfs, Jettas and Passats.

"It's definitely going to affect us to some degree. But it's not a huge component of our business," Lugar said.

There are no mechanical issues with the engines, he added, "the only issue is they don't pass a very, very strict test for nitrous oxide."

Comparatively, he said, the diesel engines the company produced as recently as a decade ago produced more than double the emissions of the vehicles included in the emissions scandal.

"In our world, it's certainly something that we wouldn't want to wish upon us on a daily basis but it's out there, it's happened," Lugar said. "Volkswagen's very committed to making it right."

If there's an upside, he added, the dealership is likely to see an increase in service work once a solution is found.

Volkswagen has said it will have to refit up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide that contain software capable of cheating emission tests. It also faces potential fines from regulators and prosecutors, and lawsuits from consumers and investors.

The company has set aside US $7.2-billion to help cover cost of the scandal but some analysts have predicted the final bill could be much higher.

Twitter: @tdnharry






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