As you all probably know, the Volkswagen group is currently struggling a big crisis due to the so called “Diesel-gate” scandal. There are plenty of articles regarding this topic, so I just want to shortly summarize the main facts: On September 15 in 2015 the US environment authority EPA detected excessively high exhausts in Diesel cars of VW in the United States. Further investigations revealed that a manipulated software was able to detect whether a car is run under normal conditions or tested in a laboratory. In the last case, the engine was regulated in a way that critical values of exhausts were met, while in normal use these values were much higher.
See the following video for technical details:
In the following months the stock price dropped harsh and sales went down. But this is not the only problem Volkswagen now has to solve. Besides big losses in image and trust the company has to develop a plan, how they want to repair all the affected cars. And this is huge logistic challenge.
Let’s have a look at some facts: About 11 million cars worldwide are affected. Sales of these cars are spread among all over the world, as the following table shows
(incl. Commercial vehicles)
|531.813||286.970||104.197||s. u. VW||2.460.876|
(incl. Audi, Škoda)
National authorities urged Volkswagen to recall all affected models to the service centers to repair the cars so that they can guarantee to meet the emission limits under any circumstance. After receiving this request, the company asked for some time in order to be able to develop a solution to fix the problem and to plan a schedule that allows a quick maintenance or repair in the garages.
Volkswagen calculated that the maintenance for each car would take between 30 and 45 minutes. Slight differences may occur between different models. In some cases, cars only need a software update, in other cases the engine has to be modified completely. Once this data was available, the schedule could be planned. Developing this scheduled is a big task, because repairs of the affected cars have to be done alongside the daily business of the garages.
So the scheduling had to be managed in a way that on the one hand, recalls could start as early as possible and quickly, on the other hand there are some capacity constraints in many garages. The overall goal is to plan the recall effectively, so that waiting time for customers is minimized. This is important not only in order to carry out their duty and fulfill the set requirements, but also to put a sign to the public that Volkswagen is treating the subject seriously, which gives the possibility to overcome the crisis and recover trust.
Due to the huge number of manipulated cars the whole recall process will take up to two years, with regional differences. And this date only holds assuming that everything works as expected and that no further problems occur.