We covered the emissions scandal on our main blog last week and now we’re able to tell you what to do if you are a VW owner. If you think your vehicle is affected, then here’s what you need to know.
Are you affected?
VW has announced that of the 11 million vehicles affected worldwide, 1.2million of those are here in the UK. These vehicles were sold with the “defeat device” fitted, unknown to the buyer. So far, the only country to have racked up a higher vehicle count is Germany, with a huge 2.8million affected cars.
The diesel brands affected are: several VW models, Audi, Skoda, Seat, and VW commercial vehicles. The number of affected vehicles under each brand has been revealed:
- VW: 508,276
- Audi: 393,450
- Skoda: 131,569
- Seat: 76,773
- VW commercial: 79,838
The company has announced that in the next few days it will be releasing vehicle identification numbers to retailers and will begin a ‘self-serve’ process for customers to find out whether their vehicle is one of the 1.2million. After this, VW will be contacting owners directly.
Although the company hasn’t officially spoken about compensation, they have put aside £4.6billion for costs excluding official EPA fines. These funds will be spent trying to gain back their reputation with customers. Lawyers in the UK seem hopeful that customers will be able to claim compensation, although it’s still too early to know for sure. The lawyers commented on the possibility of claims if the scandal damages reselling prices, or proves that buyers were sold a falsely represented product.
What’s next for VW?
It’s also yet to be determined whether the VW models in Europe are in as much trouble because the emissions tests over here are much more lenient than the US. As our car tax is based on CO2 emissions, this may not be affected if it is found the devices were mainly masking harmful levels of nitrogen oxide.
VW has stressed to its customers that the models affected are still roadworthy and the device does not affect the safety of the car, so they can continue to drive them. Due to this, when they eventually bring in the vehicles to have the software refitted, they probably won’t be calling it a ‘recall’ because that implies a safety issue. Although, one could argue that emitting harmful toxins is a slight safety issue. This refit hasn’t specified what will happen to the vehicles after, regarding efficiency or mileage, which are important factors for its customers. They haven’t given many details about the process, just that it will be happening globally to the 11million affected cars.
Experts say the UK was always bound to be hit hard by the scandal because diesel-powered vehicles make up 50% of our car market. As VW shares have dropped considerably since the scandal broke, it is yet to be seen whether this affects the diesel industry as a whole.
It’s safe to assume that by now everyone has heard about the Volkswagen emissions scandal. The headlines have featured the story and its progressions since it came to light and the future of VW is still unclear. Former chief executive Martin Winterkorn resigned last Friday, saying the company needed a “fresh start”; he was then replaced by Matthias Müller, who had been CEO of VW’s subsidiary Porsche. It’s unclear if Winterkorn knew about the illegal devices, but with the US lawyers and the EPA hot on VW’s case, it is likely more employees will be caught up in the scandal.
Volkswagen has now launched a webpage to find out if your vehicle is one that is affected. Note, this is only for VW brand cars. Audi is on a separate webpage and SEAT and Skoda are not yet available.
Visit: Volkswagen Check Your Car to see if your car is fitted with the VW device.
What affect do you think the scandal will have on the car market? Share your thoughts in our comments section.