DETROIT -- A problem with the emissions system in Volkswagens new Jetta TDI will delay the launch of the diesel sedan for about six months. The car is critical to VWs plans to get back on track in the United States.
VW spokesman Keith Price confirmed today that the delay will be announced next week at the Los Angeles auto show. Price would not give specifics about the technical problem, but he said it has been fixed.
The technical changes engineers made to solve the problem mean the car must go through emissions testing and validation again, Price said.
VW dealers have been without a new diesel car to sell since last spring. Production of the new model, which will be sold in all 50 states, was scheduled to start in January. The car will be built in Puebla, Mexico.
U.S. sales originally were expected to begin in early spring, Price said. Now sales wont start until later in the summer.
Sure, theyre disappointed, Price said of dealers who have learned of the delay.
Price said there is a lot of pent-up demand from loyal VW diesel buyers for the next- generation Jetta, which has a new engine built in Germany and a new diesel fuel injection system.
Theyre disappointed, but they see the point that this car has to be perfect, Price said of the dealers, adding, They recognize the importance of this not only for their stores, but for the VW brand.
A fleet of about 40 Jetta TDIs is undergoing testing as part of the validation procedure.