Americans May Lose Trust in Automakers

Americans now believe that the “emissions crisis” could spread beyond German carmaker Volkswagen, according to a new survey from Kelley Blue and Autotrader.

By now most car buyers are aware of the recent scandal involving Volkswagen. To sum it up, the German carmaker fudged the emissions certification for its diesel models bound for the U.S. market. They cheated.

Buyers of late model Volkswagens with diesel power now face potential recalls, or flunked state emissions tests. They may also see the resale value of their vehicles decline as a result, since nobody wants to be stuck with a “flawed” vehicle.

Now, it seems, American consumers fear that the factors leading to the Volkswagen scandal may impact other carmakers as well.

In fact, 70% of consumers responding to the survey said they believe the diesel emissions issue could spread beyond just Volkswagen.

One immediate result of this, KBB found, is that the number of people shopping for Volkswagen diesel models has declined by 7%.

But the lasting impact could be additional government scrutiny and oversight over the emissions-certification process itself.

This could lead to higher vehicle prices, as the cost of (potentially) more rigid emissions testing and certification procedures gets passed on to customers.

It could also lead states to tighten up on their own emissions testing procedures.

For now, it seems that Volkswagen is the only vehicle brand that is directly impacted by the scandal. This could change.

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