Volkswagen identify 1.2m cars in UK affected by software

Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW models feature the cheat software - still no word on the estimated 80,000 affected

Volkswagen UK have confirmed around 1.2 million vehicles in Britain, including Audi, Seat and Skoda cars, were affected by the emissions software at the centre of an investigation into rigging of vehicle emissions tests.

Volkswagen UK have confirmed around 1.2 million vehicles in Britain, including Audi, Seat and Skoda cars, were affected by the emissions software at the centre of an investigation into rigging of vehicle emissions tests.

 

Volkswagen UK said around 1.2 million vehicles in Britain, including Audi, Seat and Skoda cars, were affected by the emissions software at the centre of an investigation into rigging of vehicle emissions tests.

The German car-maker announced that the vehicles affected in the UK are 508,276 Volkswagen cars, 393,450 Audis, 131,569 Skodas, 79,838 VW commercial vehicles and 76,773 Seats.

VW has not confirmed what the modification will involve for the 1,189,906 vehicles with EA 189 engines. The firm said: “Step by step, affected customers will be contacted, with details of a process to get their vehicles corrected in the near future. “In the meantime, all vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy.”

The cheating software was fitted to a specific diesel engine range, known as EA189, which came in 1.2-litre, 1.6-litre and 2-litre variants. Depending on the particular car brand and model within the VW Group, the engine featured in new cars between 2008 and 2014. Given the popularity of the brand amongst importers, it is expected several thousand of these cars could be in Ireland.

The details emerged a day after the scandal-hit car giant announced it is going to ‘refit’ the estimated 11 million vehicles affected by its cheating on US diesel emissions test.

There continues to be frustration amongst Irish owners across the four brands sold here - and VW commercial vehicle owners - about the lack of information and contact from the firm since the scandal broke nearly two weeks ago.

According to Volkswagen Ireland: “We are currently working with the factory still to establish the exact number affected for the local market. We will announce these figures along with details of the refit when we get them.”

VW owners will be told in the coming days if their vehicles require a refit. Once regulators approve the technical fix, customers will be invited to make an appointment with a mechanic.

The scandal centres on software in the engine management system of a range of diesel engines designed to cheat emissions tests for nitrogen oxide (NOx).

NOx emissions

The US Environmental Protection Agency says that in contrast to the official test results on the road the NOx emissions from the affected cars were up to 40 times the legal standard.

Volkswagen’s newly-appointed chief executive Matthias Müller reiterated the software is only activated in a “portion” of the 11 million vehicles. This may mean the fix is relatively straightforward for some cars.

However, VW has not said yet whether removing the defeat device can also reduce fuel economy in vehicles where the software has been activated and, if so, how it plans to address this.

The firm has confirmed the 11 million vehicles featuring the EA189 diesel engine at the centre of the scandal comprise: 5 million VW cars, 2.1 million Audis, 1.8 million VW commercial vehicles, 1.2 million Skodas and 700,000 Seat vehicles. There are three variants of the diesel engine: a 1.2-litre, a 1.6-litre and a 2-litre.

In its statement the firm said: “In a first step, the customers affected will be informed that the emissions characteristics of their vehicles will be corrected in the near future. All vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy. “Under the action plan, Volkswagen and the other group brands whose vehicles are affected will present the technical solutions and measures to the responsible authorities in October.

German prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into whether former chief executive Martin Winterkorn defrauded customers in relation to the scandal. Mr Winterkorn, who resigned last Wednesday, has denied prior knowledge of the cheating.