posted 10 months ago

VW Denies UK Emission Cheat Car Owners Compensation

UK Owners Of VW Emission Cheat Cars Get No Compensation

UK owners of Volkswagen emission cheat, “diesel-gate”, vehicles will not be compensated despite suggestions otherwise, the manufacturer said.

VW Group UK Managing Director, Paul Willis, explained – in a letter to Louise Ellman, MP, Chair of the Transport Committee – that: “We do not have any plans to compensate owners (as) we do not believe that it is necessary”.

He argued there has been no “loss”. Instead: “The sums available for such a goodwill payment should be spent on maximising the uptake of the technical measures among customers, and ensuring that it is done with as little inconvenience to them as possible”, the letter said.

These statements contradict previous information. In December 2015 VW Chief Executive Officer, Matthias Mueller, said at a press conference that was broadcast globally: “We’re working on an effective package for all our customers” (and) “there will be an attractive package - let’s call it compensation - for the reduction in value of cars.” It seems this is no longer the case.

There are, however, unconfirmed rumours that some owners might receive a support package. For example, individuals might live in remote regions far from dealers so have any recall-related travel costs reimbursed.

Volkswagen emission scandal - what happened?

A new vehicle brought to market has to pass emission tests to ensure it meets minimum environmental standards. Some Volkswagens have cheat software that recognises they are on a rolling road and likely to be tested, however. Managing Director Paul Willis' letter said: “We accept software was fitted” and “apologise”.

A possible trigger for the software is that the vehicle's wheels spin while its steering is static. The software then moves to a frugal engine setting which cuts emissions to a level not replicated on the road. 

The diesel scandal - time to go clean?

Which Volkswagen engines have cheat software?

Cheat models have a Type EA 189 EU5 diesel engine (1.6 or 2.0-litre guise), or a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder, diesel. This list could expand. 

Click here to see if your vehicle has been affected

Diesel-gate recall work

Volkswagen recall work should bring its vehicles within the law. The EA 189, 1.6-litre, diesel engine needs a flow transformer in front of its air mass sensor that: “Calms the swirled air flow” and improves the accuracy of its measurements. Air flow: “Is a very important parameter for the engine management”, Volkswagen explained.

A software update is required too. The estimated time for such work is an hour. The 2.0-litre, in contrast, only requires new software that can be installed in half an hour. Such efforts have: “No adverse effects on fuel consumption and performance”. The work required to bring the 1.2-litre in-line has not been revealed.

Read more about how cars will be fixed upon recall here