Volkswagen has come under fire due to their admission that they have been dishonest with US regulators about the clean air rules on their diesel cars. They have been found to have used devices that falsify emissions data and have now recalled over 425,000 vehicles in the US.
VW has recalled nearly half a million vehicles, all diesel, that have a Type EA189 engine which show a noticeable difference between emission levels during testing and during road use. Diesel cars are becoming less popular in the US and the UK. In the US, the sale of diesel cars has more than halved since 2014, and in the UK, where diesels have always been more popular, sales have dropped by 4% since March 2014.
Volkswagen is yet to reveal how many affected vehicles are in the UK or the rest of Europe, and at the moment it isn’t clear if these vehicles would break any EU emissions rules. Reports at the moment say 11 million vehicles may be affected worldwide.
Data collected by Autotrader US shows that more than three quarters of people who have experienced a recall on their car say that the recall hasn’t affected their perception of their vehicle or the brand overall, which may bode well for Volkswagen. Most people are concerned about safety after a recall and are therefore glad that they have been contacted.
Autotrader US also found that brand loyalty isn’t strongly impacted by owners who experience a recall, and that it can actually make customers think more favourably of the recalling company. Around 67% of people who had experienced a vehicle recall thought better of the company for getting in touch and letting them know about a problem.
VW has set aside £4.7billion to cover any costs from this news, including any legal costs that may arise from group action from consumers or shareholders.
We will continue to track the investigations and keep you updated, but VW customers who are concerned whether their vehicle has the Type EA189 engine can find out by looking on their V5C document or in their service book. Failing this, the VW customer care centre should be able to confirm the engine type for VW owners in the UK. Audi is also owned by Volkswagen and some Audi A3 models may also be affected.
Read more about the Volkswagen scandal and share prices here.
Slater and Gordon are investigating the possibility of UK consumers bringing legal action against Volkswagen. If you think you have been affected, please visit Volkswagen CO2 Emission Scandal Legal Investigation.
Jacqueline Young is Head of Group Litigation at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
Follow Jacqueline Young on Twitter for live updates on the VW scandal @jacyounglawyer