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Motorists’ Faith In The Car Industry Has Hit The Skids, New Figures Show

Motorists’ Faith In The Car Industry Has Hit The Skids, New Figures Show

Trust in the motor industry has plummeted following the ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal, according to a new survey of drivers.

A national poll of 2,000 motorists found more than half (53%) said they had “little or no faith” in manufacturers’ claims about fuel efficiency and environmental ratings.

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) drivers thought carmakers “inflated” fuel efficiency and environmental figures to help sales.

The survey revealed faith in manufacturer’s performance claims has taken a serious blow, with fewer than half (47%) believing carmakers’ MPG figures now – down 13 per cent (from 60%) since the VW emissions scandal.

In the league table of trusted manufacturers, the German motor now ranks as one of the cars drivers feel is least reliable.

VW was the car maker customers trust least when it comes to performance stats (30%).

Faring better were Asian made vehicles, with just 2% of drivers saying a Korean made Hyundai or a Japanese Honda would be the car they trust most.

In 2015 it emerged VW had fitted software to some diesel models to cheat clean air regulations – affecting more than 1.2million cars in the UK.

Slater and Gordon, which representing more than 52,000 UK motorists in a group action against VW over ‘dieselgate’, commissioned the poll to gauge the impact of the emissions scandal on consumer confidence.

The results come with just 35 days left for those affected to join the group action before the deadline for new claimants passes.

A third of respondents said they would never buy a diesel again after the scandal. One in five (22%) revealed they had decided to boycott VW over “dieselgate”.

More than six in 10 (61%) said they had bought a car because of its fuel efficiency stats but 77 per cent said they would have made another choice had they known how gas guzzling their car turned out to be.

The vast majority (90%) of those polled said manufacturers should face fines if their cars did not meet claimed performance stats in real world tests.

Will Hanrahan, a former TV presenter and investigative journalist on BBC consumer show Watchdog, is one of over 60,000 motorists who have signed up to the group litigation.

He and his wife own two Audi cars which were found to have been affected by the scandal.

Will, 59, said: “We bought the cars because we thought they would be good for the environment but the irony of ironies is they are actually worse.

“Since the scandal emerged, VW and Audi have been nothing but arrogant about the issue. They haven’t even said sorry to unsuspecting motorists.

“I’ll never buy from the dealership, or from Audi ever again.”

Gareth Pope, lead litigation lawyer for Slater and Gordon, said: “It’s vital consumers can trust and believe what they’re being told.

“Understandably, the emissions scandal totally undermined people’s confidence in what carmakers are telling them.

“VW deceived owners of more than 1.2million vehicles with inaccurate claims about how their cars complied with emissions regulations, and far from just damaging VW, this scandals has negatively impacted the entire industry.

 “And to make matters worse, despite being caught out, VW has been belligerent, unapologetic and refuses to compensate affected owners. It takes years to build up trust but seconds to destroy.”

The survey has been carried out as VW dealerships filed their defence to the claim that they sold cars which were not of satisfactory quality because they failed to meet emissions standards in the UK.

The manufacturers have previously denied installing defeat devices with the intention to cheat emissions tests. 

League table of car makers UK motorists trust least:

Volkswagen

25.70%

Ford

8.90%

BMW

7.60%

Toyota

4.20%

Nissan

4.10%

Renault

3.40%

Fiat

3.30%

Volvo

2.60%

Honda

2.40%

Hyundai

2.30%