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MSE News: 1.2m UK vehicles to be 'corrected' in Volkswagen emissions scandal

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Motoring
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  • The VW HQ was raided yesterday as Michael Horn testified to the US Congress. He confirmed that US cars would require new hardware and a fix would take 1-2 years minimum. He also claimed a difference in performance of no more than 1-2 mph top speed.

    Müller has separately stated that fixes elsewhere are 'mostly software' but that there are thousands of different fixes because each model / transmission / etc combination requires a different fix.

    Congress was rightly sceptical about the "it was a couple of rogue employees, guv" claims - the raid on the HQ to secure evidence implying that the Germans don't believe it either.
  • Johno100 wrote: »
    So hand on heart you can say your primary reason for buying the car were the promised emission levels?

    I am a Middle aged father and so have many parameters that are considered when choosing a car to purchase. Whilst emission levels per se were not the primary driver the emission level does derive the VED band the car resides in and paying what to me seems a large amount in VED was something I definately did not want to do. 1parameter covered.
    I also wanted a car that was reasonably fuel efficient and had a moderate level of performance. (I know people will respond to this by saying I should have bought a RS4 or a Porsche etc, etc but whilst the wife, child and bike will fit in the RS4 I can't afford one.)
    2 parameters covered.
    I paid a premium to purchase an A4 Avant Black edition, because it comes with a sporty image that is backed up by a moderate performance uplift on its competitors.
    3 parameters covered.

    My thoughts are;

    When my car is recalled, if Audi intends to retard the performance or torque of the engine to pass an emissions(?) test then the image of the car as well as its performance is now tarnished directly affecting its resale value. It was sold to me falsely (at an inflated price over its petrol equivalent) and in this instance I want a refund (obviously less a value deducted for 1 years use, but not affected by the emissions issue). Or. I want Audi to accept my car back and to supply a similar petrol equivalent without prejudice. In other words a like for like swap from diesel to petrol with the cash difference refunded.

    How likely is this?
  • Johno100Johno100 Forumite
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    I am a Middle aged father and so have many parameters that are considered when choosing a car to purchase. Whilst emission levels per se were not the primary driver the emission level does derive the VED band the car resides in and paying what to me seems a large amount in VED was something I definately did not want to do. 1parameter covered.

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't VED banding based solely on CO2 levels while the cheat device was hiding the true levels of NOx and other particulate matters being produced by the vehicles? And anyway hasn't it already been stated by the government that owners of affected vehicles won't see an increase in their VED bills.
    When my car is recalled, if Audi intends to retard the performance or torque of the engine to pass an emissions(?) test then the image of the car as well as its performance is now tarnished directly affecting its resale value. It was sold to me falsely (at an inflated price over its petrol equivalent) and in this instance I want a refund (obviously less a value deducted for 1 years use, but not affected by the emissions issue). Or. I want Audi to accept my car back and to supply a similar petrol equivalent without prejudice. In other words a like for like swap from diesel to petrol with the cash difference refunded.

    And if VW Group said the fix was optional, so no impact on warranty, performance, MPG or of course your VED band, how would you feel about that then?
  • Wanting to replace the car / ask for compensation / a refund for something that as yet cannot be quantified may be jumping the gun. No-one yet knows what the impact of the fix will be - if any. The few within VW that genuinely do know are on instant dismissal if they discuss it outwith the brand. Anything else is speculation.
  • Johno100 wrote: »
    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't VED banding based solely on CO2 levels while the cheat device was hiding the true levels of NOx and other particulate matters being produced by the vehicles? And anyway hasn't it already been stated by the government that owners of affected vehicles won't see an increase in their VED bills.

    Let me clear. I am no mechanic. I have read that (from an MOT tester if I recall) the car whilst being tested won't rev past 2500/3000? If this is correct then surely it would follow that the 'cheat' is designed to limit engine revs to pass the test, thereby inferring that the emissions would be too high at revs over this threshold. So I am assuming (and please re-read the second sentence) that to lower Nox levels the engine will either have to be retarded via a flashmap(?) of the ECU or hardware such as an Adblue may have to be retrofitted. One will impact performance directly, or the other will likely cost me more in running costs (if the Adblue is in use constantly through all driving)?

    Johno100 wrote: »
    And if VW Group said the fix was optional, so no impact on warranty, performance, MPG or of course your VED band, how would you feel about that then?

    If not having the fix done didn't effect the annual 'car tax' premium and it didn't adversely effect the image and hence the resale value then I am happy to keep the car. I was and have been very happy with the car since buying it. The only problem with the above is that whilst I would admit to not being as Eco minded as I could be, it doesn't sit very well that the car is producing the levels of Nox that it would if the issue was not resolved.

    So you see I end up coming back to: I can't see how this can be resolved satisfactorily without any negative impact. Under contract law I was sold something that was falsely advertised using false statements amounting to more than invitation to treat.
  • Let me clear. I am no mechanic. I have read that (from an MOT tester if I recall) the car whilst being tested won't rev past 2500/3000? If this is correct then surely it would follow that the 'cheat' is designed to limit engine revs to pass the test, thereby inferring that the emissions would be too high at revs over this threshold. So I am assuming (and please re-read the second sentence) that to lower Nox levels the engine will either have to be retarded via a flashmap(?) of the ECU or hardware such as an Adblue may have to be retrofitted. One will impact performance directly, or the other will likely cost me more in running costs (if the Adblue is in use constantly through all driving)?
    You're talking about a completely different test.

    The MoT is NOT an emissions test, just a test for exhaust opacity whilst you rev the nuts off the engine. The car is not in gear - few cars I've owned in the last 20 years have let you rev past 3,000 when the car is not in gear for safety.

    The 'cheat' does not affect engine revs. Stop speculating.

    Yes, you will need AdBlue if you live in California. Do you live in California?
  • You're talking about a completely different test.

    The MoT is NOT an emissions test, just a test for exhaust opacity whilst you rev the nuts off the engine. The car is not in gear - few cars I've owned in the last 20 years have let you rev past 3,000 when the car is not in gear for safety.

    The 'cheat' does not affect engine revs. Stop speculating.

    As I said, I'm not an expert. In your opinion how do you think they might reduce the Nox emissions then given that they couldn't do it at the point of manufacture?

    If I may.

    You want new windows in your home. Your neighbours have all just had new windows so you want them to look good and you want them fitted by a reputable firm (as your neighbours will see the vans outside your home when the new windows are being fitted). You decide on a nationwide firm with a good solid reputation. The windows are reassuringly expensive but not outragous. They have a reputation for being well constructed and lasting longer than other cheaper competitors. Your choice of firm also states that it mixes a number of inert gases and injects them into the glass units resulting in a 14% reduction in your fuel bills as a result of their thermal efficiency.

    You decide to go ahead even though they are £4000 more than their other nationwide competitor. It will be worth it in the end for the peace of mind derived from the quality of the product and the potential home heating savings.

    Then. SCANDAL! There is no proprietary mix of inert gases. You are not saving money on fuel bills.

    You are disappointed. you are not so proud of your windows and your neighbours are whispering over the fences in the close.

    But wait. The company says it cannot mix the gases to provide the fuel savings but it can inject a gas in to create the savings for you and they are visiting all homes effected to carry out the fix. The thing is the gas is slightly pink, making your view through the windows slightly different than before and anyone viewing the home (should you decide to put it on the market at some point in the future) can tell you were at some point victim to the 'window scandal'.

    Am I entitled to a full refund or the provision of a product equivalent to the initial claims made at the point of sale?

    The fact remains. Unless Audi can correct the problem without any discernible impact on future value, market perception of the product, or increase in running costs it makes no difference to me 'what' their fix is.

    No. I don't live in California. But I don't live in cloud cuckoo land either.
  • As I said, I'm not an expert. In your opinion how do you think they might reduce the Nox emissions then given that they couldn't do it at the point of manufacture?
    That's the point, they may not have to. If you live in the EU then the NOx limit is much higher. Real world testing had already shown VW Euro-V engines were performing better in terms of NOx emissions than most other manufacturers last year - so they must have been doing something right ("Costing the Earth - last week on Radio 4").

    What happened in the States was a totally separate thing - for different reasons. If you live in the States then you will need new hardware - things are different over here.
  • Johno100Johno100 Forumite
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    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    As I said, I'm not an expert. In your opinion how do you think they might reduce the Nox emissions then given that they couldn't do it at the point of manufacture?

    If I may.

    You want new windows in your home. Your neighbours have all just had new windows so you want them to look good and you want them fitted by a reputable firm (as your neighbours will see the vans outside your home when the new windows are being fitted). You decide on a nationwide firm with a good solid reputation. The windows are reassuringly expensive but not outragous. They have a reputation for being well constructed and lasting longer than other cheaper competitors. Your choice of firm also states that it mixes a number of inert gases and injects them into the glass units resulting in a 14% reduction in your fuel bills as a result of their thermal efficiency.

    You decide to go ahead even though they are £4000 more than their other nationwide competitor. It will be worth it in the end for the peace of mind derived from the quality of the product and the potential home heating savings.

    Then. SCANDAL! There is no proprietary mix of inert gases. You are not saving money on fuel bills.

    You are disappointed. you are not so proud of your windows and your neighbours are whispering over the fences in the close.

    But wait. The company says it cannot mix the gases to provide the fuel savings but it can inject a gas in to create the savings for you and they are visiting all homes effected to carry out the fix. The thing is the gas is slightly pink, making your view through the windows slightly different than before and anyone viewing the home (should you decide to put it on the market at some point in the future) can tell you were at some point victim to the 'window scandal'.

    Am I entitled to a full refund or the provision of a product equivalent to the initial claims made at the point of sale?

    The fact remains. Unless Audi can correct the problem without any discernible impact on future value, market perception of the product, or increase in running costs it makes no difference to me 'what' their fix is.

    No. I don't live in California. But I don't live in cloud cuckoo land either.

    Interesting analogy, but what's the equivalent of the 14% saving on energy bills when it comes to your car?
  • they are £4000 more
    That's the crux of the matter. The realisation that the biggest differentiator is the badge on the front.

    NOx is a red herring, along with all the other parameters. No-one buys a car powered solely by 100 million year old fossils on the basis of its green credentials. It's like buying a suit made entirely out of kittens - and justifying it by saying that this particular brand of suit used 14% less kittens.

    It's the badge on the front and the concern about it not being as brilliant as the marketing may have suggested.
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