WASHINGTON — Volkswagen of America has halted production of diesel-powered 2016 Passat midsize sedans at its plant in Chattanooga, a VW spokesman said today.
The pause comes midway through a planned production ramp-up for the re-engineered Passat. Gasoline-powered 2016 Passats are scheduled to arrive in U.S. dealerships later this month or in early December.
“As we are in the middle of the ramp up of the production volume, it is no problem to adjust the mix to accommodate this change,” Scott Wilson, VW’s spokesman for the Chattanooga plant, said in an email.
VW, which releases only sparse information about the volume and mix of vehicles built at its Tennessee factory, continued to build Passat diesels in Chattanooga even after Sept. 18, when the EPA announced that vehicles with VW’s 2.0-liter diesel contained illegal software that masked their emissions.
Sales of the 2016 models have effectively been barred since then, and VW withdrew its application for EPA certification on its 2016 2.0-liter diesel models on Oct 7, according to agency.
Wilson said he learned of the Passat diesel pause today but didn’t know exactly when production ended, though it was probably in the last several weeks.
On Sept. 30, he told Automotive News that Passat TDI production was ongoing, and that the “the few” that were being built were being held aside and not released to dealers. That situation continued at least through mid-October, Wilson said in an email at the time.