Half of Volkswagen's German lineup doesn't meet strict new EU emissions test

Will this new testing program become a whole new emissions mess for VW, or just a stepping stone on the way to getting clean?

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt

Will emissions woes ever end? At this point, you might wonder, particularly when you take into account Volkswagen's own admission that only half of its VW vehicle lineup in Germany meets the European Union's strict new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

VW new cars parked at the airport car park
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VW new cars parked at the airport car park

More than half of Volkswagen's lineup, including the Golf, have yet to pass the EU's strict new emissions testing program.

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"The new tests are more cumbersome and take two to three times longer than in the past; even limited-edition models need to be tested separately," Thomas Zahn, head of sales and marketing for Volkswagen, said during a conference call with journalists on Thursday.

Among the vehicles that have yet to pass the new standards is the Golf, one of VW's top-selling platforms. Zahn said Volkswagen plans to have the Golf in compliance with WLTP standards by the end of September.

While passing these new emissions tests isn't a problem that is unique to Volkswagen, having half of the vehicles it offers in Germany being out of compliance may prove to be a big problem sales-wise come end of the year.