Data released in December revealed that numerous Audi and Seat petrol and diesel models have had their official CO2 figures revised upwards since the parent VW Group issued a statement claiming that investigations had “largely concluded”.
The statement, made on 9 December, identified nine VW branded vehicles as having figures that would need to be re-evaluated. At the same time the original estimate of 800,000 VW Group cars being affected by wrong CO2 figures was downgraded to just 36,000.
After identifying that “during internal remeasurements slight deviations were found on just nine model variants of the Volkswagen brand” the statement concluded that “the Group's subsidiaries Audi, Skoda and Seat have also agreed a similar procedure with the approval authorities responsible for the vehicles initially considered.”
However, despite there being no formal public announcement from the VW Group or the individual Audi and Seat brands, Autocar has learned that Seat raised CO2 emissions figures for 26 Ibiza and Leon derivatives just days after the original statement in mid-December, and that Audi followed suit just prior to Christmas, raising figures on six Audi A1 derivatives. Since then, it has been revealed that four A4 and eight Q3 models are also affected.
The revisions were described by a spokesman as being uncovered as part of “normal conformity disciplines”, while Seat and Audi spokesmen highlighted that all of the changes were published in data lists as usual and communicated to both fleet managers and owners of the cars who had placed orders prior to the revisions.
Insiders also suggest that further amendments could be in the offing. Skoda has confirmed to Autocar that none of its models are affected. Meanwhile, however, VW has downgraded its forecast of nine vehicles requiring reassessment to six.
A VW Group spokesman said: “Conformity of Production testing is a regular and ongoing process, and such updates are us doing our business as usual. The changes were made public through the normal channels."
However, Autocar understands that while it is normal practice for cars to be regularly retested, especially as initial figures are often certified on pre-production cars, it is highly unusual for so many figures to be revised upwards, and to such an extent. In contrast, one industry insider told Autocar that it is more common for figures to be revised downwards, as build quality and parts tolerances improve further into a car’s build cycle.
A VW Group spokesman said: “When determining fuel consumption levels it is a normal process after the start of production for all manufacturers to verify the figure ascertained in the initial measurement using a factory-new production vehicle. This is done as part of the legally required follow-up measurements.
“Occasionally it can happen that pursuant to the follow-up measurements the fuel consumption figures then be corrected. This is done in accordance with the prevailing statutory regulations and in consultation with the type approval authority.”