/ Motoring

Big questions the Government needs to answer on VW

VW red logo

Seven months on since VW’s emissions scandal came to light, UK consumers are being left in the dark. So today I was in front of the Parliament’s Transport Select Committee and called on the Government to take urgent action.

It’s completely unacceptable that VW customers are still none the wiser on what the fix will be, what the impact will be on their car, and therefore whether they’re entitled to compensation.

Without this information, no one knows if they can bring a legal claim against VW.

Not only are our campaign supporters angry, VW customers feel conned.

Angry and rightly so

In our survey of Which? campaign supporters over the weekend, 94% of nearly 30,000 people told us that car manufacturers are not being fair to UK consumers. And three quarters of those said the Government must now take action against VW.

And they’re right too. During today’s Transport Select Committee, I pressed the Government to take urgent and immediate action.

Even though there has been further testing by the Government and VW, those impacted by the scandal are still none the wiser. Assuming it has the answers to our questions, the Government must stop sitting on any evidence that can help fully inform VW owners.

Important questions

Why won’t the Government publish the full results of all of its testing, for each vehicle, including the detailed methodology? Why won’t it reveal whether there are any discrepancies between their results and the manufacturers’ including whether any vehicles tested breached the lawful emissions limits?

Was the defeat device identified by the Government in the Skoda vehicle a prohibited defeat device and VW therefore broke the law?

What work has the Government done to verify the effectiveness of the fix to the VW defeat device and does it affect the performance, fuel economy or emissions of the vehicles?

These are all important questions, and are ones I pressed for the Secretary of State for Transport to answer.

Action from the Government

It’s been quite a different story in the US. The US Government acted quickly to hold VW to account. Yet in the UK progress to date has been woefully slow.

And separate to the legal debate about compensation claims, people simply cannot understand why VW has offered US consumers a goodwill payment whilst refusing to provide this for UK customers affected by the very same issue.

The Transport Secretary must now intervene and stand up for UK consumers. Are you with me?

Update 15 July – Transport Committee report

Following an inquiry into the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the Transport Select Committee today said Volkswagen has been deeply unfair to European customers by only offering significant compensation to US owners.

The report also criticises the Government for being far too slow to act, and says it should investigate and consider prosecuting Volkswagen for the use of defeat devices in its vehicles. The Committee has called upon the Department for Transport to ensure that car owners are not out of pocket in any way as a result of the emissions scandal or Volkswagen’s fixes to affected vehicles.

The report comes off the back of our calls for action from the UK government. Earlier in the year, Richard Lloyd called for the Government to stand up for UK consumers and take action when giving evidence to the Committee’s inquiry. He also shared findings from our investigations on fuel emissions and views from our affected supporters.

Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Louise Ellman MP, today said:

‘Volkswagen Group has acted cynically to cheat emissions tests which exist solely to protect human health. Volkswagen’s evidence to us was just not credible but the Government has lacked the will to hold VW accountable for its actions. There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act.

‘Vehicle owners have been refused goodwill payments. That is despite VW inflicting a great deal of uncertainty on its own customers along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs.’

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Policy and Campaigns said:

‘Today’s findings from the Transport Committee echo what UK consumers have been saying since the scandal was first uncovered. VW drivers have been treated unfairly and the Department of Transport has not done enough to hold VW to account.

‘The lack of action sends a message that companies who employ underhand tactics can get away with it. The new Transport Secretary must urgently get to grips with this issue and ensure that UK customers are treated fairly.’

If you agree that the Transport Secretary must urgently take action, please sign our petition.

Dave Cross says:
2 January 2017

i am loathe to go through with this update as i don’t want my 170bhp yeti to be declawed and made toothless


Dont blame you Dave, I would hesitate too , your bhp is identical to my very old Ford ST 170 and its quite nippy , by VW conforming to the law they are at the same time changing the power curve of your engine to a “non ideal ” curve to satisfy the EU.

John Wilby says:
9 January 2017

I’ve just been contacted by a no win no fee company inviting me to join a group claim for compensation for the vehicle emission scandal affecting my VW Jetta. They say the fee is 30% of any compensation plus the cost of distributing the settlement. They expect a successful claim to be “only a few thousand” and that those who sign up would be excluded from accepting alternative forms of compensation from VW – e.g. discount on a new car.

Paul E says:
3 January 2017

Had the emission upgrade carrid out on my 2014 2.0l Tiguan bluemotion DSG on 13th December 2016, as as soon as drove noticed a power lag about 1500 rpm. If put food down there was a distinct delay then changed down followed by increase in power, slightly jerky. Currently in debate with garage.

Clive Grenyer says:
7 January 2017

Had exactly the same problem. On first return the car was undriveable, and was collected by the garage and returned with a bland apology and no explanation. Same problem now that Paul E has. Intermittent and complies with the law that says that no intermittent fault will occur when a garage employee is in the car. Garage (VW main dealer) will not debate further.

Barry D says:
21 January 2017

that does not sound good at all. If you haven’t had it sorted yet then i would definitely be seeking legal advice!!! hope you get/had it sorted.

E.V.Perry says:
3 January 2017

Had my Golf “fixed” on the 30th Dec. and already have noted a 10% loss in m.p.g. despite assurances that this would not occur! Can we believe anything VW tell us? Another problem seems to be the poor resale value.

Michael says:
6 January 2017

Having read the information from VW, they assured us, for what it was worth, that the fix would not affect lots of things but no mention of fuel consumption. It is now appears that it is indeed fuel consumption that is affected. Since the main reason for buying a diesel was for the lower fuel consumption, I feel cheated and demand some financial compensation. Fortunately I have ignored all requests from VW to take my car for modification and will continue to do so until fair compensation is paid. If everyone did the same they would soon change their tune. Although nothing has been said, I am sure they are required to have modified a certain percentage of cars in a defined period of time. It is VW’s problem not mine.