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VW Sold 6,700 Test Cars to That Weren’t Ready for the Road

VW Sold 6,700 Test Cars to That Weren't Ready for the Road

The automotive industry has always ensured that test cars don’t reach consumers. The factory typically keeps and crushes these pre-production vehicles because they have not yet undergone safety testing or are ready for the road. However, according to a report on, German automaker Volkswagen has been bending these rules and actually sold 6,700 test vehicles in the United States and Europe.

Unsafe Vehicles Sold

These pre-production vehicles were made to “test and showcase” new models before official series production, and they were not authorized to be on the road. But Volkswagen sold them as “used cars.” About 4,000 of these cars were sold in Germany from 2006 to 2018, which means this practice continued until recently.

Der Spiegel reported that the Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Deiss knew about this practice in 2016, but it took a long time to stop. The cars have now been recalled, with VW citing safety concerns. Some vehicles can differ from series production cars, making them more difficult to maintain in the long run.

Der Spiegel also says that as many as 17,000 Volkswagen test cars were sold to customers, but VW only confirmed 6,700 as the number of recalled cars. German authorities are still deciding how to handle this violation. The automaker will likely face thousands of dollars in fines for each affected car. It is unclear if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is taking any action regarding the test cars sold in the United States.

Auto Product Liability Issues

While VW officials have reportedly called this a big mistake, it doesn’t diminish the fact that thousands of these vehicles are on the road, potentially putting consumers in harm’s way. Test vehicles don’t undergo the rigorous safety testing production vehicles do because they are not meant to be on the road. This is why automakers destroy them once their purpose has been served.

It is unclear whether any of these vehicles have caused serious injuries to consumers. We don’t have those numbers yet. We hope NHTSA investigates this issue further and holds VW accountable for this illicit, unethical practice that has endangered consumers. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to these dangerous and defective vehicles, please contact an experienced auto defect lawyer who can give you more information about pursuing your legal rights.


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