Volkswagen says over one million cars in Britain affected

VW Ireland’s managing director has been asked to appear before transport committee

Scandal-hit car giant said it was going to “refit” the estimated 11 million vehicles worldwide. Photograph: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/EPA

Scandal-hit car giant said it was going to “refit” the estimated 11 million vehicles worldwide. Photograph: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/EPA

 

Volkswagen yesterday confirmed nearly 1.2 million vehicles in Britain were affected by software designed to cheat emissions tests.

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

As yet there is no further information on the estimated 80,000 Irish cars affected. Volkswagen Ireland said it was still working to establish the exact number affected here and the breakdown between the brands.

Volkswagen Ireland’s managing director has been asked to appear before the Oireachtas transport committee over the scandal.

Fianna Fáil committee member Timmy Dooley TD said: “It’s important the transport committee has an opportunity to tease out these issues in detail. There could be tax implications for owners with diesel engines and that may have to be addressed.”

Defeat device

The “defeat device” 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.

The scandal relates to falsified nitrogen oxide (NOx) figures, which are closely monitored in the US. By contrast, European authorities paid little attention to the NOx emissions until this scandal.

Tax regimes in Ireland and other EU states focus on carbon dioxide (CO2). VW would not specify whether the “refit” would affect fuel economy or CO2 emissions.

If it did, this would have implications for Irish vehicle-owners, who may face higher tax bills in the future as well as possible retrospective ones.