Volkswagen Diesel Customer Forum says owners have suffered increased fuel consumption and reduced performance; manufacturer says this represents less than 1% of cars

Volkswagen has denied claims that its Dieselgate fix for the EA189 diesel engine has caused breakdowns, increased fuel consumption and reduced performance in a large number of vehicles.

The damning claims come from a report submitted by the Volkswagen Diesel Customer Forum (VDCF) that says owners of cars issued with a fix for affected 2.0-litre diesel engines have also noticed increased exhaust smoke, excessive regeneration of diesel particulate filters (DPF) and DPF failure.

It says exhaust gas regeneration (EGR) valves have also failed, as have turbochargers and fuel injectors. Further claims state that other vehicles have entered limp mode or their engines have got louder once the voluntary fix was issued.

But VW has told Autocar that these issues affect less than 1% of the 600,000 cars it has fixed (at around 20,000 a week), which equates to less than 6000 cars overall.

A spokesman said: "That means that over 99% of customers are satisfied with the application of the technical measures, which of course are carried out free of charge. As you would expect, we make it a priority to look at the vehicles of the very small proportion of customers who report any issues."

VW also believes that a large portion of the vehicles with problems have been poorly maintained, with some even missing their factory-fitted DPFs. It says this means many of the issues that have arisen are unrelated to the fix.

VW has repeatedly claimed that its emissions fix, which is focused around a software change in affected models, has no impact on vehicle performance and that it has been “extensively tested” and approved by “relevant independent authorities”. The company said it tested 200,000 vehicles in the software’s development.

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The new report not only questions this but also reveals that VW has responded to complaints from disgruntled owners with statements such as: “We have heard of no other issues from other customers who have had the update applied."

Two months ago, VW UK managing director Paul Willis gave evidence at a Transport Select Committee meeting and said just “0.75% of total updated vehicles had received a complaint”.

However, VDCF believes  the number is significantly higher and that VW has failed to keep a log of issued complaints. The report also suggests that some owners have had to pay for replacement of failed EGRs after the fix was issued to their car. However, VW claims these failures had nothing to do with the software change.

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Models affected by the VW emissions scandal include the Polo, Golf Plus, Beetle and Passat with the EA189 diesel engine.

The VDCF has urged the government to consider prosecuting VW for the scandal, something it is yet to do. In the report, it uses a quote from Willis to justify its argument for prosection.

The Willis statement said: “To be clear, NOx emissions limits under the EU5 emissions standard are the prescribed limits during New European Driving Cycle testing, and these limits only regulate NOx emissions in the context of that prescribed testing and do not regulate ordinary driving conditions on the road; there is currently no legal limit for real-world NOx emissions on the road in the UK.”

The report believes that this breaks the laws set out by EU5 engine regulation.

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Comments
31

21 April 2017
I can believe it. Simple fact is, if VAG could of made the engines pass the emissions test of NOX without cheating devices they would of done. However, they couldn't do it at the time for what ever reason be it lack of engineering knowledge, cost cutting who knows. Adding on a fix to the engine to make it work/fix it passing NOX simply won't work because the engine was never designed/capable of doing it in the first place therefore it causes these mechanical problems that owners are now facing. It's clear that the engines are not running properly after the fixes putting strain on other components. The simple fix is not the solution as a whole host of other parts need to be changed to sort it also,

21 April 2017
The whole diesel story is very complex. A diesel engine works efficiently at constant RPM and it's emissions can be managed , urea injection and good filters, but that only works very well for large motors : the big problem was when they made smaller and smaller diesel motors in cars that rush in traffic from 1000 to 5000 RPM and back. That was encouraged by governments fuel policies and the search for higher MPG.
The VW Lupo and Audi A2 with the 1.2 TDi, the 3Ls, only achieved their 95mpg (3L/100km) in real world driving when driving very calmly (hypermiling) not the crazy rush of 'hot hatches'.
That is one reason full EVs , even good hybrids, are so good, because they instill a good driving style. And a four seater car never needs more than 100 bhp.
The future will all be about a better calm driving style, small(and larger) diesels will be phased out.

RogerHudson

TS7

21 April 2017
rogerhudson wrote:

And a four seater car never needs more than 100 bhp.

Thankfully my car has 5 seats, and therefore 597 bhp is entirely justified.

21 April 2017
Still waiting for that before and after test Mr Autocar

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

21 April 2017
Definitely! A friend asked me if he should update his 1.6TDI Golf and I keep telling him to steer well clear of the dealer.

21 April 2017
.....thought VW Group car's don't go wrong?

Or is it just that the plastics are squashy?

Much lolz

21 April 2017
danielcoote wrote:

.....thought VW Group car's don't go wrong?

Or is it just that the plastics are squashy?

Much lolz

4 Golf's, 1 Polo and 1 Seat and NO problems at all. Lolz to you for your blanket comment ignorance...

21 April 2017
It was quite pathetic before and now down to 39 to 40 mpg that is accurate not based on the trip.would be interested to know of other users experience.

21 April 2017
Ski Kid wrote:

It was quite pathetic before and now down to 39 to 40 mpg that is accurate not based on the trip.would be interested to know of other users experience.

My mother had an A1 with the wretched 1.6 diesel did early 40's mpg - less than what her 1.0 ecoboost Fiesta does now.

21 April 2017
Ski Kid wrote:

It was quite pathetic before and now down to 39 to 40 mpg that is accurate not based on the trip.would be interested to know of other users experience.

Good test, as VW are so good at 'creative software' perhaps they would be tempted to add in the emission fix software a bit of a tweak in 'optimism' for the mpg read out calculation.

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