Volkswagen Emissions Update

JonathanNovember 26, 2015
  • The Volkswagen emissions issue only affects cars fitted with EA 189 engines
  • Petrol engines are not affected.
  • EU6 engines are not affected.

The Volkswagen Group have released an official update in relation to the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal:

“We would like to sincerely apologise that Volkswagen Group has let down its customers over the findings of irregularities in some of the diesel-powered vehicles we produce” – Paul Willis, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group UK

What is the issue?

Software was installed to some diesel vehicles built by Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat and Audi which are fitted with EA 189 engines which meant that, when the vehicles were being tested, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions characteristics were affected. The NOx emissions testing issue does not change the fact that the affected vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy, and can be legally driven on the roads. The Volkswagen Group’s investigations are ongoing into how and why the software was installed in the affected vehicles. It is clear, however, that this issue does not affect petrol cars, or diesel cars fitted with EU6 engines.

How did Volkswagen Group become aware of the fault?

When carrying out road tests, the American emissions authorities (Environmental Protection Agency and Californian Air Resources Board) detected that the emission values of certain Volkswagen vehicles were different to the emission values in testing. The situation in the US is significantly different to the EU and UK situation. The affected vehicles in the EU and UK have different engine configurations to the vehicles affected in the US. There is also different testing and a different regulatory framework in the US.

The Volkswagen emissions testing issue does not change the fact that the affected vehicles are technically safe, roadworthy, and can be legally driven on the roads.

Which engines are affected?

The Volkswagen emissions issue only affects cars fitted with EA 189 engines. EA 189 refers to a series of 3- and 4- cylinder diesel engines with displacement of 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0 litres.

Petrol engines are not affected because the exhaust treatment systems for diesel and petrol engines are completely different.

This issue does not affect cars fitted with EU6 engines.

How many vehicles are affected

how many vehicles are affected in the volkswagen emissions scandal

Can drivers find out if their vehicles are affected?

You can confirm whether your vehicle is one of the affected vehicles by checking the Vehicle Identification Number (found on the dashboard on the driver’s side) on each brand’s website:

Will my vehicle be recalled?

The term Volkswagen Group UK is using for vehicles affected by this issue is “service action”.

In the UK, a recall is defined as “an action taken when a defect is identified which meets the definition of a safety defect which could result in serious injury”. This is not a safety recall.

When the work relating to this issue is carried out on affected vehicles, the repair will be at no cost to the registered keeper or to your company and we will do our utmost to minimise the inconvenience to everyone involved.

What is VWG doing to rectify the problem?

At the moment, the technical details of the fix and the timescales for implementing the fix have been provided to the relevant authorities and are awaiting their approval.

We have agreed a timetable with the relevant authorities that the solution will start to be implemented from early 2016. We are in close liaison with the Department of Transport. The provisional timetable communicated to the KBA and shown to the VCA is as follows:

volkswagen emissions provisional timetable

Volkswagen Group has outlines specific technical measures for affected 1.6 and 2.0 litre EA189 engines. The final technical solution for the 1.2 litre diesel engine will be presented at the end of the month and is expected to comprise of a software update.

Following an intensive examination, there is now clarity regarding the correction of the irregularities for the majority of vehicles affected.

A “flow transformer” will be fitted directly in front of the air mass sensor on the 1.6 litre EA 189 engine. This is a mesh that calms the swirled air flow in front of the air mass sensor and will thus decisively improve the measuring accuracy of the air mass sensor. The air mass sensor determines the current air mass throughput, which is a very important parameter for the engine management for an optimum combustion process. In addition, a software update will be performed on this engine. The time needed for the implementation of the technical measures is expected to be less than one hour.

The 2.0 litre engines will get a software update. The pure labour time for this measure will be around half an hour.

The objective for the development of the technical measures is still to achieve the applicable emission targets in each case without any adverse effects on the engine output, fuel consumption and performance. However, as all model variants first have to be measured, the achievement of these targets cannot yet be finally confirmed.

Source: Extract from the VW AG Press Release (25th November, 2015)

Will I be expected to pay for the fix?

The fix itself will be implemented at Volkswagen Group’s expense, the aim is to minimise the inconvenience to you of implementing the technical solution.

Will I be required to have my vehicle fixed?

You will not have to bring your vehicles in to be fixed if you do not want to. Your vehicle has been approved by an independent approval authority, which means it is legally allowed to be driven on the roads. You are not, therefore, breaking the law by driving your car. NOx testing is not part of MOT tests. We also stress that the NOx emissions testing issue does not change the fact that your car remains technically safe and roadworthy. However, we would like the opportunity to rectify the issue with your vehicle and would recommend you accept the fix. We will aim to carry out the fix with as little inconvenience to you as possible and our aim is to minimise any effect on the performance of your car, as a result of the fix.

If I don’t get the fix, will this affect my MOT?

The Volkswagen emissions issue relates only to nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels in testing. A car’s NOx emissions levels are not tested as part of its MOT. Therefore, the result of your car’s MOT is not affected by the emissions issue. Your car is technically safe and roadworthy.

Will I have to pay more road tax?

Vehicle tax rates are based partly on carbon dioxide emissions. The Volkswagen emissions issue relates only to nitrogen oxide levels in testing, and there is no evidence to suggest that CO2 emissions have been affected by the device.

On 2nd October 2015, the Department for Transport announced that UK taxpayers will not incur higher Vehicle Excise Duty if their existing vehicles are found to be affected.

Will the resale value of vehicles be affected?

We are continuing to monitor resales of affected vehicles. Industry experience has also shown that even when there has been a safety recall (which this issue is not), there is no identifiable impact on resale values.

Are affected vehicles harming the environment?

The Volkswagen emissions issue relates only to nitrogen oxide levels in testing, and not carbon dioxide levels. The issue concerns the characteristics of NOx emissions of affected EA 189 diesel engine cars in the testing stage. It is recognised by the industry and government that under the current regulatory regime, the emissions levels measured during testing for any vehicle do not reflect the realities of the emissions in real world driving.

Communications to corporate customers

volkswagen emissions communications to corporate customers

Communications to drivers

We are supporting leasing companies to communicate with customers and/or end-user drivers. Leasing companies usually contact customers and/or end-user drivers direct to notify them of a service action.

Because of the high volume of affected vehicles, Volkswagen Group has offered to write to customers on leasing companies’ behalf to update them.

Please discuss with your leasing company.

Can I return my car and get a refund or exchange it?

Volkswagen Group is not offering its customers an exchange of or a refund for their vehicles because of this issue. The Volkswagen Group is developing a technical solution which will look to minimise and effect on the performance of the affected diesel vehicles, and which would therefore have no impact on the quality of your car.

Am I entitled to compensation?

Volkswagen Group is not offering its customers compensation because of the Volkswagen emissions issue. The car remains of satisfactory quality. Customers with these vehicles will be kept informed over the coming weeks and months. The technical solution will of course be carried out at no cost to customers.

What are Volkswagen Group’s next steps?

“We will contect you again when the technical solution is available to confirm the next steps. Please be assured that, when the work relating to this issue is carried out on your vehicles, the repair will be at no cost to your company and we will do our utmost to minimise the inconvenience to you.

I would like to reiterate again our sincere apologies.” – Paul Willis, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group UK Ltd.


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