Currently reading: Volkswagen denies its Dieselgate fix causes breakdowns
Volkswagen Diesel Customer Forum says owners have suffered increased fuel consumption and reduced performance; manufacturer says this represents less than 1% of cars
Sam Sheehan
News
3 mins read
21 April 2017

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.

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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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hugetoon 22 April 2017

KBA did not test it

As an owner of one of the VW cars fitted with the cheating device,
I had a mail exchange with a KBA representative.

VW states that KBA has validated their fix and *suggest* that they have test it.

IMHO, Nothing of the sort: KBA only performed the regulatory tests and took the claim by VW about the absence of any adverse effects on fuel usage and noise levels at it's face value.

Moreover no claims at all were made about the possible increase of mechanical failure likelihood after the fix is applied, there fore this aspect wasn't validated in any way.

Below the excerpt of their last mail I got:
---------------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. XXXX,

you´ll find the testing methods in the EU regulation 715/2007 - that’s what it is about. The vehicles have to be completely in accordance with the rules of the European commission. The technical solutions are released if all requirements are fulfilled.
Please follow the link. There you´ll find for further information e. g. the Report by the “Volkswagen” Commission of Inquiry and more.
----------------------------------------------------------

There is also a blatant fallacy in current VW stance: they mention 1% of cars being affected but in fact it's more like 1% of owners who bothered complain loud enough to be took into consideration by VW.

hugetoon 22 April 2017

Not recommended for high mileage

BTW, I also reached by phone a VW dealer who performs the fixes and asked them if they had any complains so far, they said that no, however they also said that they would not recommend applying the fix to my car which now has over 180Kkm.
Since in France there is no insensitive to apply the fix I decided to follow the dealer advice.
VW OTOH tried to scare me into proceeding to the fix by arguing that starting 2019 there will be new technical controls that each car in France has to pass each two years to remain roadworthy and that my car might fail them.
But the fact is that I had the opportunity to perform this new test in a testing center that was partaking their experimentation beforehand and as expected, my TDI 1.6 passed them with flying colors.
torovich 22 April 2017

Don't blame the customer

I can't believe what I'm reading. VAG manipulate emissions on 11.5 million vehicles. They then say they can remove the manipulation and this will have no impact on customers. They offer no proof of this ( in real world conditions) just refer to test against a discredited test cycle. They offer no warranty. The best they claim is that the upgrade is free and the vehicle won't be degraded by the "fix". When it is, they say well it's not that many vehicles, and in any case, the ones it did wreck weren't properly maintained. And worse than that, some of those dirty unwashed customers had manipulated the emissions on their own cars. How dare they do that! That's our job!!!!!

Let's be clear. This is 100% VAG's problem to solve. Any attempt to pass the blame anywhere else should be stamped out straight away JOURNALISTS PLEASE TAKE NOTE.

michael knight 22 April 2017

The power of brand

and yet...and yet..muppets still sink their money into these fraudulent conveyances. The power of aspirational marketing. A VW 'bubble' must be on the cards.