Majority Of 3,965 VW Group Vehicles On Burning Ship Likely Destroyed

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It’s been over a week since the massive cargo ship Felicity Ace caught fire while full of new cars. Fortunately, the crew evacuated safely but the ship belched black smoke for several days. Now, the smoke has stopped and rescue crews are on board, and initial reports suggest it’s not looking good for the Volkswagen Group.

Report from Automotive News claims the ship’s payload consists of 3,965 vehicles, all belonging to various brands under the VW umbrella. The report also includes a statement from Volkswagen in which the company is concerned that most vehicles are damaged beyond repair. Further details were not available, nor was it clear whether any part of the cargo area had been investigated. A Volkswagen spokesman confirmed the accuracy of the statement to Motor1.com.

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Previous reports of the burning ship identified many high-end vehicles on board, including some of the last Lamborghini Aventadors with naturally aspirated, non-hybrid V12 engines. By the way, a lot of electric vehicles are included among the cargo, and that makes the fire difficult to extinguish according to Automotive News article. To date, there is still no information about how the fire started or whether it has been completely extinguished. Photos show significant damage to the ship’s exterior, but February 25 update from Felicity Ace Incident Information Center declared the vessel stable with no detected oil leaks.

When the fire broke out, Felicity Ace was located about 90 nautical miles southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. A large rescue ship is currently towing the ship to a “safe area” near the Azores. The ship is escorted by two tugboats and another large rescue ship capable of providing firefighting assistance if needed.

The ship was bound for the United States. Volkswagen Group dealers have notified buyers with pending vehicle orders about the possible problem, although it’s unclear how long it will take before all the details are sorted out, and the exact extent of the damage is known.

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