VOLKSWAGEN GROUP EMISSIONS SCANDAL
On 3rd September 2015 Volkswagen admitted that it had intentionally designed and fitted a 'defeat device' in certain diesel cars that allowed them to essentially cheat tests for emissions of nitrogen oxide. It also admitted to having understated carbon dioxide emissions and wrongly certifying mpg ratings for approximately 800,000 petrol and diesel-powered vehicles.
It is estimated that 11 million cars worldwide have been affected. This includes Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat cars, as well as the 800,000 cars affected by the CO2 and mpg inconsistencies. Volkswagen has said it will fix the cheating software installed in diesel cars between 2009 and 2015 that use an EA 189 diesel engine.
The safety of these cars is not compromised by the software, and therefore it seems there will not be a formal recall in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, where 1.2million cars are said to be affected. Instead Volkswagen will offer to repair the cars without any charge to the owner. This could result in reduced fuel efficiency, but failure to get the repair work done may affect the warranty and therefore affect the resale value.
Cars will first be processed for repair in January 2016 and it is expected that it will take 12 months, or longer, to work through all affected cars.
How might this affect me?
There are certain factors which could result in owners of vehicles suffering a loss:
Reduction of the resale value of your car.
Reduced fuel efficiency caused by the repair work carried out by Volkswagen, causing higher fuel bills.
Higher road tax as a result of reduced fuel efficiency.
There is also the matter of misrepresentation. Many car owners paid more for what they were told was an eco-friendly vehicle, and as such their consumer rights may have been affected. Volkswagen has not yet made any commitments in respect of compensation.
How do I know if my vehicle is affected?
The easiest way is to check your vehicle documentation to see if the car uses a Type EA189 engine, or go to the Volkswagen UK customer care centre to confirm the engine type. Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat have also created websites that allow owners to check if their car is affected.
What should I do now?
Keep a record of all documentation in respect of the vehicle, and any subsequent correspondence you receive from Volkswagen.
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