Problems squeezing enough of its cars through the new WLTP emissions test forced Volkswagen to warn shareholders recently not to expect big profit leaps this year. Though it reported healthy rises in sales, revenues and profits in the first half of the year, Volkswagen Group chairman Herbert Diess warned investors not to expect a second half surge. He cautioned that up to a quarter of a million cars would suffer production delays, at a cost of billions of euros, because of Volkswagen’s difficulties getting its cars certified on the WLTP test. The Worldwide Light Duty Vehicles Harmonised Test Procedure (WLTP) is much harder to comply with than the outgoing NEDC test.

Carmakers have to test not just each new model, but each example within a model range, including all different engines, gearboxes, tyre sizes and different combinations of all three. The WLTP even demands new tests for different air-conditioners, different suspension systems, different brake packages and minor equi...

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