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Trust for VW Has Plummeted Since The Emissions Scandal, New Research Shows

Trust is hard won, but easily lost. German carmaker VW is beginning to learn this at its cost.

Three years since VW was caught fitting software to cheat tough clean air regulations, consumer faith in the company has plummeted.

According to our poll of 2,000 British people, the car-giant now ranks among the companies that motorists trust least.

It’s a far cry from the days of German motors being considered the benchmark of performance and reliability.

But seen in the context of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal, and a litany of negative news stories since, VW’s fall from grace hardly seems surprising.

Just this week is was revealed that the European Commission has launched an investigation into allegations that BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and VW-owned Audi and Porsche formed a cartel to restrict costly technology that could reduce pollution.

Little wonder then that 53% of motorists in this country say they have ‘little or no faith’ in car makers’ ability to provide accurate performance information about their vehicles.

VW’s reputation may have hit the skids, but the knock on effect for the rest if of the automotive industry could be significant.

Why does this matter?

1.2 million people were knowingly sold cars by VW which breached clean air regulations

VW had been found fitting so-called ‘defeat devices’ to some of its most popular models to get round tough emissions tests designed to limit the amount of harmful nitrous oxide that is emitted by diesel cars.

Consumer trust in any product is vital for a functioning market – but this is especially important when the goods being sold, like diesel cars, have the potential to cause us harm.

Just this week a report by Unicef found that millions of children in our towns and cities are exposed to dangerous levels of pollution in the areas where they live.

The study revealed that harmful emissions could be stunting their lung growth, increasing their risk of asthma and potentially damaging their brain growth.

Consider this alongside VW’s reaction to the charge that they knowingly rigged emissions tests, and the irresponsible attitude of the car giant becomes all the more stark.

In the United States they have already paid out $25bn their part in the scandal. In the United Kingdom however, VW has been belligerent, unapologetic and denied responsibility – refusing to pay a penny to British drivers who have been sold vehicles that do not comply with emissions standards.

When trust breaks down who can help?

When a scandal of this scale is exposed, with more than a million potential motorists wronged, you would expect the government to act.

As the government did not implement the legislation necessary to be able to fine VW for cheating emissions tests, the only option left to consumers is to seek legal redress by joining the 80,000 motorists pursuing VW for compensation in a ‘group action’ claim.

Signing up to a group action means you are joining forces with other motorists who want their fair share of compensation, the like of which has already been paid out to customers in America. 

Is my car affected and how do I claim?

All past and present owners of affected VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda cars acquired in England and Wales are eligible to claim – but time is running out, the deadline for claimants to lodge their claim in court closes on 26 October this year.

Since the scandal broke, VW have been offering affected motorists a free fix to make affected cars comply with emissions regulations. 

Owners can join the group action regardless of whether they have had their cars fixed by VW or not. 

Affected motorists can sign up at


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