Following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) findings of cheats in emission tests in Volkswagen (VW) cars, the scandal led to concerns worldwide, including in Turkey, both on the seller and consumer side. Concerns have consolidated further following Mercedes-Benz and General Motors recently deciding to recall cars to fix emissions software because tests found irregularities. Although German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt announced German carmakers recalls of 630,000 cars to fix emissions-management software that show carbon emissions lower by in late April, this does not seem convincing enough to relieve consumers and compensate for damage to the environment.
Turkey is a big car market, including cars from around the world, and the emission scandal evoked concerns regarding consumer rights and environmental issues.
Concerning the issue, chairman of the Consumer Associations' Federation (TÜDEF), Hasan Atak, said that they are very concerned about the ethical rights of car customers in Turkey, emphasizing that the procedural controls on the car brands involved in the scandal should be tightened through stricter tests. Atak also said the carbon emission cheating is unethical and seriously damages the health of consumers. He also said that these imported cars trigger concerns for customers, who are being fooled, in a sense. Atak said under the legal framework, claims should be filed, since these imported cars have caused serious damage to Turkey's air. He also called for those planning to buy a new car to wisely think before purchasing cars involved in the scandal.
The chairman of Consumer Protection Association (TükoDer), Halil Çamalan, said those customers who have concerns about their cars or cars they are planning to buy should resort to the concerning authorities and courts for an investigation to be initiated to be sure of the compliance to the international standards.
Meanwhile, a scandal broke out following the EPA found that many VW cars on sale in the U.S. possessed a device or software showing improved results in emission tests in September. Following this, the German car manufacturer admitted that it cheated emissions tests.
The reaction of markets on a global scale became clear with the VW Group's finance report for the first quarter of 2016, with figures indicating a 20 percent drop in profits compared to the same period last year. Accordingly, pre-tax profit fell from 3.97 billion euros ($4.43 billion) to 3.2 billion euros in the first three months of 2016.
According to a Guardian analysis, if VW and Audi cars in the U.S. with Type EA 189 engines had been fitted with a device designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides complying with the standards, they would have emitted just 1,039 tons of nitrogen oxides each year, instead of spewing between 10,392 and 41,571 tons of toxic gas into the air every year.
Scandals in the automobile sector are not confined to these incidents. For instance, airbag, made by Japanese major parts supplier Takata were mostly installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015, some of which could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing people, rather than preventing injury or death. According to the estimated numbers, about 34 million vehicles are potentially affected in the U.S., and another 7 million have been recalled worldwide until now.