Volkswagen has long been revered as a trustworthy, reliable brand. In fact, the automaker has one of the biggest fan followings. But a few years ago, a scandal erupted that sent Volkswagen into the depths of darkness with the American people. And after “Dieselgate,” Volkswagen is ready to regain the trust of the people who once loved its cars. Enter the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4.
How Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” scandal nearly took down a trusted brand
It all started back in 2016, when the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) brought a lawsuit against automaker Volkswagen. While many brands experience the occasional class-action lawsuit, what would become known as the “Dieselgate” scandal was different.
According to Business Insider, the U.S. government and officials at the FTC found evidence that Volkswagen “misled consumers by labeling some diesel models as ‘clean’ when, in fact, Volkswagen had outfitted the vehicles with devices aimed at beating emissions tests.”
The original complaint accused Volkswagen of purposely misleading consumers, knowingly hiding the truth in order to make sales. The FTC found that many diesel-powered cars “emitted up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides.”
During the same year, Volkswagen was ordered to set aside over $10 billion “to compensate people who bought or leased one of the more than 550,000 deceptively marketed vehicles.” The vehicles affected included the Passat, Golf, Beetle, Jetta, and Audi A3 from model years 2009-2015. Owners would receive buyback payments of between $12,500 and $44,000.
Owners also had the option of having their vehicles modified to meet the emissions standards, but as of 2020, more than 86 percent of affected consumers chose to keep the money, rather than the car.
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4: an opportunity for redemption
“Dieselgate” is regarded as “the largest consumer redress program in U.S. history.” Many consumers and industry experts alike felt an immediate distaste for Volkswagen, a brand which garnered a loyal following for its efficient, economic, and well-built cars. In addition to the more than $10 billion settlement, Volkswagen made the smart choice to be proactive in earning back the trust of its consumers.
The brand agreed to invest nearly $5 billion in green-vehicle technology, as well as “pollution-mitigation efforts.” Volkswagen also dedicated itself to the goal of producing 20 million electric vehicles, all built on the same new modular electric toolkit, by 2029, according to the brand. While promising a new and innovative approach to EVs, Volkswagen is focusing on a zero-emissions future. The brand has also shared that its technology from here on out, will be made “with the intent that the technology be shared.”
Volkswagen came out with the first of its pure EVs, the ID.3, in 2020. But the ID.3 hatchback only made it to European markets, as the brand probably wanted to “test the waters” before making the full plunge in the U.S. But its second ID-branded EV will be the first to hit American shores as its one shot at reclaiming the trust of U.S. consumers. And in order to truly win over the American people, Volkswagen went above and beyond to impress them with the all-new 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 all-electric SUV.
Everything we know so far about the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4
Volkswagen recently dropped a ton of information about its newest 2021 ID.4, which is set to go on sale in the spring of 2021. It sits on the same electric-drive architecture as the rest of the ID clan, with a steel chassis and body.
According to MotorTrend, power for the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 comes from a 12-module, 82-kWh lithium-ion battery that sits within the SUV’s floorplan, which sends power to the rear-mounted motor. Base Volkswagen ID.4 models will send power to the rear wheels, for a maximum output of 201 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque. Volkswagen claims an all-wheel-drive version of the ID.4 will be available at a later date, making a more-powerful 302 hp.
The Volkswagen ID.4 is said to offer a range of 250 miles on a full charge. When using a fast-charging station, the ID.4 can boost its battery power to 80 percent in around 40 minutes. And to help with charging, Volkswagen plans to build thousands of charging stations around the country.
Although the ID.4 will be considered a compact SUV, it will offer up to 64.2 cubic feet of space and towing capability of up to 2,700 lbs. Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is set to start at around $40,000.