/ Motoring

VW scandal rocks the industry – do you still trust car makers?

Volkswagen

Volkswagen has come under fire for cheating official car pollution tests in the US and Europe. Isn’t it about time we could trust the claims car makers make?

Today’s headlines extensively cover the Volkswagen scandal, where the car manufacturer has admitted rigging environmental tests. Since then, the story has escalated quickly, with many European Ministers calling for an EU-wide investigation into the issue.

Volkswagen emissions scandal

The scheme was discovered by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which noticed discrepancies in results of laboratory and real-world testing of diesel Volkswagen cars in Europe. ICCT then tested the cars’ actual emissions in real-world driving in the US, where car emission limits are much lower than in Europe. Much to their surprise the pattern was repeated – while the cars passed lab tests performed by the California Air Resources Board, they failed the real-world tests.

So what was going on? Well, Volkswagen managed to artificially lower its tailpipe emissions by using a ‘defeat device’. This allowed Volkswagen to hide the fact that its diesel cars produce pollution up to 40 times the legal limit. We’ve got a bit more info about how this works in our online Q&A, but in short it can detect when the car is being run under lab conditions. Once the car returns to normal road use, the software switches itself off.

Volkswagen has said that 11 million of its diesel cars are affected around the world, with models such as the Golf, Passat and Audi A3 included. The company had already been ordered to recall 500,000 cars in the US, and has set aside €6.5bn to deal with the cost of the scandal.

Fuel economy claims

Car makers claiming figures that are unachievable in real life isn’t news to us. In spite of miles per gallon (MPG) figures being used to pass official standards and promote product characteristics in advertising, we’ve repeatedly shown that these claims very frequently miss their mark, and this is across all manufacturers.

Considering the Volkswagen story we decided to look at the MPG values of diesel cars from both VW and its competitors. You can see the full results here, but on average they missed their claimed figures by 12%.

That’s why we’re calling for a new, more stringent and more accurate fuel economy test to be put into place by 2017 so that you can once again trust the official figures you see when purchasing a car. Hopefully, some good will come out of this scandal in that it helps our cause and convinces the European Commission and national European governments that they need to put an end to the loopholes and lax tests.

Has the Volkswagen scandal changed your view of car manufacturers? Do you think the government should implement more stringent and accurate testing for cars?

[UPDATE 24/09/2015] – The government plans to launch an investigation into vehicle emissions. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

‘The Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK regulator, is working with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that this issue is not industry wide. As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real world driving emissions.

‘We have called on the EU to conduct a Europe wide investigation into whether there is evidence that cars here have been fitted with defeat devices. My priority is to protect the public as we go through the process of investigating what went wrong and what we can do to stop it happening again in the future.’

[UPDATE 26/09/2015] – After more than 9,000 votes, 95% of you said that you wanted action on misleading fuel claims. So we have launched a campaign calling on the car industry to Come Clean on Fuel Claims. Show your support by signing our petition.

[UPDATE 30/09/2015]Volkswagen has announced that more than one million UK vehicles are affected by its diesel emissions scandal, including Audi, Seat and Skoda cars. A VW spokesperson said: ‘Step by step, affected customers will be contacted, with details of a process to get their vehicles corrected in the near future. In the meantime, all vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy.’

Details of affected cars will be released to retailers in the ‘coming days’ and there will be a self-service process for customers to check if their car needs to be corrected.

Comments

An update
ec.europa.eu/ireland/press_office/news_of_the_day/cars-eu-commission-tightens-rules-for-safety-and-emissions_en.htm

Mark says:
3 February 2016

Now the EU Parliament have agreed to NOX emissions of 168 g/km v the US limit of 32 g/km (50 g/mile) from Sep17 after pressure from the UK government, amongst other car manufacturing countries. I hope Which? will push for an early downward revision to protect the lives of its members living in cities.

This will only apply to the latest vehicles as I see it. A far more effective and immediate way to reduce NOx in towns and cities is to restrict the amount of traffic. But maybe that is too easy and would restrict personal freedom.

You have mentioned restriction of personal freedom frequently, Malcolm. Do you drive in towns and cities?

I frequently use park and ride buses if I have to go into a city centre, and look forward to introduction of electric buses.

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I’m just interested in exploring the options for dealing with the problem of air pollution caused by vehicles in city centres, Duncan. I would like to think that people might voluntarily avoid driving in cities and towns, but the only encouragement seems to be congestion and the cost of parking.

I am very strongly opposed to our lives being run for the benefit of business.

Now if there’s one thing that I dont like to write it is that I think there is not a chance of people reducing their driving habits without serious encouragement or legislation
Just go to India or China and you’ll see that they will gladly choke to death before they stop driving in town………………
The people of Bristol or London are no different to those of Mumbai or Beijing

Near all through this diesel debate I have said that diesels are bad news no odd’s what we do with them and this was my profession but near to everyone keeps trodding down the road that tech will save the day…………..It wont…………..

OK, but how do we tackle the problem of poor air quality in our city centres?

Reading back through this convo will reveal a number of suggestions. 🙂 Perhaps these should be examined in more detail.

I don’t expect that we will see a Which? campaign for cleaner air, though it would certainly have my support. The most likely solution seems to be the need for action to deal with well established problem of air quality in parts of London and other cities not meeting European standards.

“The need for action” – that requires practical proposals, some of which have been made here. I don’t see why Which? cannot develop this theme, as it already hosts convos on pollution. What is the purpose of looking at car emissions if it is not to improve pollution in towns? It is surely not primarily to criticise the car manufacturers or the defective EC tests but to achieve something positive – better air quality.

Perhaps the most conspicuous action of Which? has been to carry out fuel consumption tests under more realistic conditions than specified by the NEDC tests and I believe doing them on unmodified cars. This has been going on for years.

Fuel consumption has been well-covered by several sites that show real life mpg. This convo focused on “emissions”. The question asked was about air quality and I believe Which? can make a positive contribution through its members if it chooses to.

It seems to be well established that lean burn engines tend to produce more nitrogen oxides, so fuel economy and emissions are related. I would be impressed by manufacturers that introduced emission controls that meet the tighter US emission standards in cars sold in Europe.

Real emissions are what matter, of course, and these are what contribute to air pollution.I’d like to see Which? concentrate on helping control what is a real health problem.
Fuel consumption – and emissions – will depend partly upon the sort of car you drive, engine size for example. It is absolute air quality that matters; simply getting more accurate results for mpg, CO2 and NOx is not going to help on its own; reducing them in real terms will be the help we need to reduce pollution, as will reducing polluting vehicles in towns particularly at peak times..

These points are obvious, at least to me. I am suggesting that – other things being equal – selling cars that meet US emission standards could help improve air quality.

Yes Wave US standards would have a pretty immediate effect and within 5 to 10 years a lot of the poluters would be gone.
Yes Which could generate support and I’ll be first to put my hand up but then we personally are already doing more than even 0.1% of the population and all I get is looked upon as a nutter by some……………It’s all about the money it seems
Personally I think the support whilst well meaning will not be enough to have an effect or effect our Gov/Gov’s…….They are having diff’s with a world economy that is not expanding despite us having expanded to bursting point…………..They need to take up some other economic system also otherwise how are we going to get less traffic……………….Consumerism does not go hand in hand with traffic reduction

Then there is the multitude that are addicted to high mpg which is difficult or near impossible one to sustain into the future………..

It’s not just a matter of reducing traffic in towns……………Society and policy needs to change……………….Like the rest of you I do not have the answers but one thing I have learned is that Gov gets it’s blinkers on and is on a single track road one after the other…………
One track minds,,,,,,,,,one track policies like greenhouse gas emissions policies that have maybe been worse for us than any good they done…………………Back in the 90s I was against diesel but I got the crap knocked out of me for being the odd bod………
Today oil is cheap and they’re away with oil and Nuc again for why I dont know………….SSE are shutting down old coal fired generators and the reason given is costs………Gas,,,,Wind,,,,,,solar etc all got a mention as being cheaper than coal so thats a public first……………That kinda puts to bed the notion that renewables are expensive………..Not so many years ago one could hear people could be heard saying we should not have shut our coal mines……………
Perhaps the s**t will really have to hit the fan before a Gov might listen or more the point the people listen

I still hark back to the flight over Berlin and being a mechanic I appreciated the amount of fuel it was taking to keep this going and there were 1000s more cities the same………………
That was 1983,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,We use several times that amount of energy today I’d imagine………………..It’s simply not sustainable………………It may be what we accept as normal but there’s nothing normal about it…………..
Just 100 years ago many people had not seen the sea or been outside of their own town or County…………………
I my lifetime the UK’s population has doubled and a bit
World population has went from 2.9B to 7.4B………………Its not a matter even of the double,,,,,,,,,,,,,The numbers are so fantastic it is really difficult to get a minds eye view or comprehend this

Comes to mind that for those of us who live in the country also get the town pollution to the extent that everything is covered in a black oily mess………………..If I take my machines down that are looked at every year the only way to remove the covering is with solvent……….Natural dirt as used to be was wiped off with a cloth………….This stuff today is a mess………………
So your pollution is not limited to nor does it stay in town…………….

Many things I do say for certain and with knowledge but whether people are wiling to listen or believe seems to be another point but I have no answers at least ones agreeable with everyone and I doubt that anyone has agreeable answers……….
A very difficult subject that is much bigger than singular vehicle emissions…………….If it only involved a few diesel cars it would be simple but if we get the blinkers on again and go blindly down the “lower NOX” route we’ll just be as much at fault as always……………

Just a few thoughts…………………I dont want to court controversy but I have quite a few facts gained through my years and non of them are good all of which now are available today with a click of the mouse………….

Hope I haven’t stirred the s***t……….again………….

I’m acutely aware that pollution does not stay in one place, DK. My breathing is badly affected by sulphur dioxide and can smell it at low concentrations that others don’t notice. I have frequently sulphur dioxide it many miles from coal-fired power stations and that stopped when desulphurisation plant was installed. It’s well known that acid rain can be caused by pollution in other countries, and it is no surprise that those who live in the country are affected by pollution from built-up areas.

I cannot understand why the UK seems to be doing nothing to control its population. According to an email from the Food Standard Agency this morning: “It’s predicted that there could be more than 9 billion people in the world by 2050. Demand for food will increase by 60%, while climate change and rising income in developing countries will alter the global picture.” Anyway, that’s completely off-topic even if it is a more important issue than what we are supposed to be discussing. 🙁

Indeed Wave,,,,,,,,,,,,smell pollution………….We still have towns full of coal fires and I was at S/fix last night which is in a “low” part of town…………….Choking
Funny/peculiar not all smoke effects me…………….Two strokes dont have me gasping and for that matter tobacco smoke either but sulphur and NOX and I think I’m dieing………………..

Yes population…………..Your numbers are correct I feel……………Wave I think life is too short for more than one obvious reason but the problem is that it is so short that people only reference their personal adult life……………….This has taken roughly 4 generations to achieve……………….Very few people can live in a place that those 4 and more generations walked……………Along with that comes all the stories………….The mills that were built…………..The land that was stripped and turned into farm land…………………….
I once listened to a story from a now ancestor about being given antibiotics for the first time and that near all soldiers who got any sort of wound prior to that week,,,,not that year but that week were almost certain to die from the infections whilst only a short time later they/his bunch were walking away within days or weeks with the Doc’s saying you dont know how lucky you are,,,,,,,,,,,,,

He was lucky and lived to be a very old and wise man……………

Yes there’s a bigger picture,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Yes population is a problem and now China has changed their rules things are not about to get better

Do I have the answers?? No but lest continue alongside this vehicle pollution which is a large part of the problem

Your other post about your VW and the speed of VW
As I have said many times I worked in that industry………………….I am not surprised
Near all management are former sales and sales are not good well meaning people………..That’ll probably get me a thumbs down but to h**l with them
Sales dont do truth,,,,,,,,,,,,,,sales do whatever suits at that moment in time……….they have themselves convinced that selling is good and anything that creates a sale is good and in the same breath anything that delays a payment is good…………
I have seen it all as the saying goes from the workshops to the design and every step of the way sales are pushing everyone…………………..No manufacturer is immune……They have all done littler cheats but VW have cheated for decades and the more I speak with particularly the tuning trade that is becoming more apparent………………..
So the fact that VW stood in front of the world and announced that come the beginning of Jan they would be “fixing” the cars…………….I thought in my sense of humour that they had already “fixed” the cars to suit themselves
So we are now in Feb and nothing……………No surprise

Duncan posted in connection with another topic the definition of Fraud………….A few weeks ago I had looked up the same and was about to post similar in connection with this VW scandal but the noise was such that I walked away not because I was wrong but because no one wants to hear

It’s amazing what justifications can be dreamt up to justify the wants……..
There are several folk on here you Wave being one that are fairly realistic and open minded enough to at the very least think,,,,,,,,,,,,,just think could there be an alternative to the way things are………………That is pretty unique in the bigger playground………………………..
Good man…………..we may not always agree……………but I listen or at minimum consider your advice because I recognise that on some fronts you know whats what………..and on many others your never far from the truth………………..
If the world were full of pragmatists rather than greedy gorbs we might make headway………………….
Greed was/is and always will be our downfall………………..

Keep the thoughts and ideas coming……………They may not be to everyone’s taste but if we dont talk we will never make headway
We cannot stagnate with the ideas and systems of the past…………………For the most part they have near all failed us often because they were abused just as VW did.

Hi @ebomo – I am one of those with a VW car affected by the emissions ‘discrepancies’. It is now months since VW confirmed that my vehicle was affected and assured me that prompt action would be taken. I have been given an outline of the remedial work required to correct the problem but months later I still have a car that has still to be modified. VW indicated that they wanted to regain my trust and quite frankly they have failed.

I would be very grateful if you can update us if possible.

Thanks Emmanuelle. Though it is wrong that many of us have been sold cars that do not conform with standards, I see it as more of a crime against society, because everyone is affected by vehicle emissions, especially those who live and work in cities. The very least I would expect is that VW would keep us up to date with progress in view of the delay.

We, as far as I know, do not yet know how many VW cars do not perform to standards, which in the EUs case means conformity with the emissions limits when measured under the NEDC test. I believe those tests are ongoing and I look forward to seeing the results so we can see just how much cheating VW has done.

Reducing car emissions will not cure the problem of, say, parts of London where an annual emissions limit has been exceeded in the first few days of January. The problem no doubt exists elsewhere. Reducing traffic is the only answer. Do we really care about air quality enough to restrict our own driving?

Looks like VW are adopting a2 tier approach – with Europe (UK Especially) in the bottom tier. See
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-idUSKCN0VG0MF

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Yes John as Duncan says………..We’re sub standard here…………
I’m curious John,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Does P One or C Backey means anything to you………..It does me as does 58

Still waiting for my audi a4 avant 2011 to have software added,to fix the recent problem,also i personally think we need compensation,if they have cooked the books,and told lies.We basically been running a car belting more fumes out,also possibly costing us more,or perhaps when new software applied,this could make MPG etc worse?Hence then costing us more!!

DO we still trust car makers?

Well not if you read this article which shows Nissan being completely clueless on what can be done once you start building “smart”. Being able to access remotely Leaf cars around the world and turn on their air-con is not a feature I think should be allowed to exist …… flattening batteries is a malicious act enabled
troyhunt.com/2016/02/controlling-vehicle-features-of-nissan.html

I was advised by Volkswagen today that my Tiggie will need a software fix and I’ll be ‘sent for’ when my turn comes around.

I was informed that “Our aim (Volkswagen) is that there will be no change to the engine output, fuel consumption or performance data already published for your vehicle after the technical measure has been completed.” It’s a worthy aim but will the outcome be independently checked one might wonder?

My Tiguan was bought specifically to tow a moderately heavy caravan and presently car and van are a fine match. A reduction in the power output or a change in its delivery as a result of VW’s modifications might adversely alter that match. VW’s modifications will have to be tested for emissions compliance but will its engines’ performance and characteristics ever be tested?

Totally agree with Crobar – we have a Superb Estate which (rather superbly) tows our caravan. We just want to know how the power output/performance/economy will change after having it’s software update (still in the dark about when that will be). If there is no discernible change , as VW and Skoda assures us, why on earth did they fiddle with the software in the first place? Sorry, but we’re not convinced, VW. And yes we do believe compensation is due – it has currently affected the resale value of our car, and we have yet to to see if it will affect it’s superb mpg.
VW and Skoda customer service are not doing their best at taking care of their customers right now.

I have now (April 2016) received a third letter from VW. To quote from this letter:

We are conscious that since the requirement for a technical measure was communicated, you have been waiting for confirmed timings. I apologise for any inconvenience caused during this time.

Due to the volume and complexities of the different engine variants affected, technical measures require in-depth analysis and extensive testing in conjunctions with relevant, independent authorities before they can be released and implemented for your vehicle. Our aim is that there will be no change int he engine output, fuel consumptions or performance data already published for your vehicle after the technical measure has been completed.

It then goes on to repeat the information about software and ins some cases hardware modifications that are proposed for the three affected diesel engine sizes.

Updates will be available on http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/dieselinfo

They will write to me again when … the technical measure for your vehicle is ready to be implemented.

I now have zero confidence in VW’s ability to run a company.

With the Gov’s now announced change on CO emissions regarding road tax will they even have to meet the original limitations??

Are they waiting on the get out clause??

Are there more changes afoot to make the foot fit the shoe??

Disgraceful but nothing new

“Our aim is that there will be no change in the engine output, fuel consumptions or performance data already published for your vehicle after the technical measure has been completed.”

This seems very much like wishful thinking.

The “engine output, fuel consumptions or performance data already published for your vehicle” might not, of course, equate to “the engine output, fuel consumptions” AND “performance” characteristics that you have become accustomed to achieving. The weasel has spoken.

Thank you for the clarification, John. 🙂

DeeKay, the EC set “fleet” CO2 (not CO as far as I know) levels – that manufacturers have to meet across the aggregate of their sales. Substantial penalties are due if the limit is exceeded. Presumably these penalties would be retrospective.

In the UK CO2 levels are for UK taxation purposes. Whether they will claim retrospective payments from VW if it is shown that actual (post correction) CO2 levels should have produced more tax revenue – in VED and on employee car benefit – is something we should watch for, and expect. Owners will not suffer a loss, apparently.

I had a call from my local VW dealership yesterday to invite me to book my car in for service. I mentioned that I had learned about the emissions ‘discrepancies’ in September 2015 and at one stage it was suggested that the remedial work could be done at a service. I was told that they have recently started to carry out work on cars with 2 litre engines, but did not know when the 1.6 or 1.2 litre engines would receive attention.

I have been unable to find anything to confirm that VW dealerships are modifying 2 litre engines, so I rang VW. I have been given incorrect information by my dealer and no modifications will be carried out until testing is complete.

I tried to vote down my previous comment, which contains misleading information, but the following message popped up: “Nice try, but you can’t vote for your own comment 😉 ”

I can understand why we cannot support our own comments but I think we should have the rights to mark them down. 🙂

Would you like me to do it for you, Wavechange?

Thank you John. I wondered if anyone would offer. Maybe Patrick can tell us why we can’t mark down our own comments. Maybe it’s a feature of the software.

I don’t see the point in marking your own comment down. You don’t (well I expect you don’t) post a comment you disagree with. If a post proves factually incorrect then a correction is surely sufficient, with an explanation, as you have done.

Unless a comment is simply rude, distasteful or whatever I don’t see the point in marking down someone’s contribution without an explanation as to why you disagree with it.

Brian C says:
4 June 2016

If the solution was as simple as placing a small plastice grid in front of the airflow meter why wasn’t it done in the first place instead of illegally rigging the computer do they think we were all born yesterday!?

These vehicles were reported by VW to the US authorities last September it seems from what I have read, but the settlement reached for 2.0 l did not include 85,000 the 3 litre diesel vehicles that were also fitted with defeat devices.

I remember reference to the larger engines. I don’t recall we discussed this much so thought it would be worth providing a link.

Report from Green Car Reports that ‘engineer, James Liang, entered his plea in Detroit federal court Friday, his lawyer saying that Liang was “one of many at Volkswagen” involved in the fraud.’ – http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1106036_first-volkswagen-engineer-pleads-guilty-to-diesel-emission-fraud?fbfanpage

‘He spent 25 years working for Volkswagen in Wolfsburg, Germany, before moving to the U.S. in 2008 to become the company’s U.S. head of “Diesel Competence.”

Liang is cooperating with the emissions probe, which should put more pressure on higher-level VW officials, according to Bloomberg.’

It is now a year since I learned that my VW Golf is one of those affected by the emissions problem and VW indicated that they would take action promptly. I have had three letters but have still not been invited to take my car for corrective action.

Many owners of tumble driers manufactured by Whirlpool and sold under various brand names still have a machine that could cause a fire.

There is something very wrong here and government must take action to force these large companies to take action if they fail to act promptly.

wavechange, the proposed corrected engines have to be tested and approved by the appropriate agency before VW can generally implement the modifications. The last time I looked at this ( I reported this in “Big questions……) in August was that 2.0 l were done, some 1.2 l completed, with 1.6l next to do. These tests are being carried out by the German test agency KBA.

I think the delay in Whirlpool remedial work is a disgrace and have said so several times in Convos, on the Member Community and direct to Which? I suspect Peterborough Trading Standards are partly to blame as they seem to have liaised with and approved the Whirlpool plan.

I also believe Which? should do more to directly help consumers . I have asked them two specific questions that concern me.
1. Should not affected consumers be compensated for the gross inconvenience caused by such long delays in providing remedies. (SoGA requires a remedy to be carried out without unreasonable inconvenience).
2. Should not a faulty drier be tested to see whether it complies with the flammability test given in the safety standard BS EN 60335-2-11. If they do not, a serious breach of EU law has taken place. If they do the standard may need amending.

Which have not given answers to these straightforward questions. It concerns me as to why they refuse to give answers. Who is really out there to look after consumers’ interests?

VW has failed to keep me and other owners of affected vehicles informed. They have my address, email address and phone number and it is months since I heard from them. The information on their website does not say when we can expect action. I think it’s time to take the the VW emissions issue out of the hands of the company, do what is necessary and let them foot the bill.

The standard for tumble dryers is clearly unsatisfactory because there is no requirement for an interlock or other safety device that makes it necessary to clean the filter before each cycle.

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The “Whitehouse” as you put it have dealt harshly financially with VW, as they also have with BP, banks and other people they can penalise for wrongdoing. The VW facts in the UK are yet to be totally clarified and we must then see whether adequate redress is forthcoming with our government’s involvement.

As regards Whirlpool, this seems to be not down to government; the BIS Committee under Iain Wright MP are on Whirlpool’s back but move too slowly. Consumers should received the support of our Consumers’ Association who have been ” in direct contact with a range of influential bodies over many months”. Consumers, I suggest, while welcoming long term solutions, if they transpire, also want individually their current predicaments dealt with in many days, not many months.

Dave H says:
21 October 2016

Volkswagen have not looked after their fellow EU members only the US, they say its because the US have stricter emissions than the EU. I take the view that if you are 1mg over the drink drive limit or 100mg over you have still broken the law and have to pay the penalty. Our EU Governments are also to blame for letting them off so lightly, surely the EU type approval for these vehicles is invalid because it has been obtained by lies and deception. I have asked Volkswagen to provide me with written confirmation that the power, fuel consumption and driving characteristics wont alter after the recall has been done and they still have note done so only verbally . However I do feel sorry for the dealer network and the frontline customer care team who have just been given scripted answers to give to customers. the VW dealerships are also having great problems dealing with the severe depreciation of these vehicle as are the poor owners. Its time for VW to do the right thing by its customers and dealer network and start giving out compensation, after all loyalty is only gained by honesty and trust as I know being an VW and Audi aftersales manager for many years, I am glad now I got out when I did because I could not have coped with the lack of loyalty by VW and having to make excuses for them. I was given the VW gold award for services to VW but would now love the opportunity to hand it back to the main man @ VW.

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Excessive depreciation attributable to the VW deceit should be compensated. However I don’t yet know what the emissions of uncorrected (i.e. type tested) engines were so don’t know whether EU regulatory limits were broken; they are different from those in the USA. Does anyone know?

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Janet Weir says:
19 November 2016

We had the first of four letters from VW in October 2015, confirming that our car was one of the affected vehicles. In December 2015, a second letter arrived explaining the details of the “technical solution” needed for our 1.6 TDI engine and informing us that the solution would “arrive” in the second or third quarter of 2016, to be “deployed”, when ready, some time after that. Letter three, which arrived in April 2016, basically offered the excuse of “the volume and complexities of the different engine variants affected” for a delay in implementation (in essence, a case of don’t-call-us-we’ll-call-you). Letter four, in October 2016,said that while VW hoped to release technical measures for all remaining vehicles (i.e. ours) by the end of 2016, implementation of said measures would continue into 2017, with no indication of how far into the new year. It was another way of reminding us not to pester but wait to be called. Meanwhile, should we wish to sell our car, one presumes the resale value would be affected by the failure of VW to get the job done. UK car owners have every right to the kind of compensation available to owners elsewhere.

Like Janet we also have 1.6tdi Bluemotion and have had another noncommittal letter saying it may be 2017 before our car is fixed. This started in 2015 so we will soon be in our third calendar year and no fix or date. Meanwhile in the USA owners are being offered a MINIMUM settlement of $5100 to compensate them – is anyone from the government holding VAG to account or are they just too big ? I will certainly not be continuing my long term relationship with VW after my car is fixed and I sell it. I for one am not convinced about the 1.6tdi fix yet.