An Audi Q5 was tested before and after the fix had been applied; higher NOx emissions were found post-fix

The Dieselgate fix for cars implicated in the Volkswagen emissions scandal may be ineffective, according to the findings of an Italian consumer group.

Altroconsumo, which tested an Audi Q5 to analyse the effects of the Dieselgate fix offered by VW, found that after the defeat device was removed, NOx emissions were 25% higher than before. The fix imposed on European cars affected by the scandal currently involves a software update for 1.2 and 2.0-litre engines, while 1.6-litre units require a new flow transformer in addition to the software tweaks.

The Italian consumer group is a member of the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), which issued a statement regarding the findings: “This is another blow for EU consumers and a new dimension of the VW scandal. This test by our Italian member clearly demonstrates that VW’s solution to deactivate the defeat device is not reliable.

“It is imperative that the German testing agency who approved the fix, but also their national counterparts, urgently re-examine the solutions to repair the affected cars and that they publish these results. Consumers need to be 100% certain that their car will be in conformity with emission thresholds after the recall.

“Volkswagen justifies compensation payments to US consumers with the argument that their cars cannot be as easily fixed as in Europe. This excuse now seems to be built on sand. VW must compensate European consumers. This is the only possible way forward for VW to make up for this ongoing consumer detriment.

“National public authorities must finally take action and put pressure on VW to correct their misbehaviour.”

 A spokesman for BEUC revealed that the organisation, in light of the findings, will be looking into retesting other cars that have been fixed, but also stated that the retesting of vehicles should be the responsibility of public authorities, as well as Volkswagen itself re-examining the tests it may have carried out on the vehicles, post-recall. The test results should be made public for full transparency and to give consumers a full understanding of the effects of the service action being requested, he continued.

The BEUC spokesman also criticised Volkswagen’s handling of the recall and fix. “It’s a wake-up call for Volkswagen to communicate; the information people have been getting and which has been made public is very unclear," he said. "In some states the recall is mandatory and in others it’s voluntary.

“The delays will only confuse people further, so a plan of action needs to be fully communicated more effectively.”

“If consumers are concerned about the effect of the fix upon their vehicle, they need to ask the relevant authorities if they should do the fix or not, rather than just do what VW advises them to do. A retesting procedure is necessary because they need to know that the fix is the best thing to do.”

Meanwhile, governments of countries affected by the scandal need to ramp up pressure on Volkswagen, the BEUC representative said. “It’s also a wake-up call for the governments to enforce their power upon Volkswagen; these practices can’t go on any more," he said. "The governments need to act on the behalf of the consumer.”

Autocar has contacted Volkswagen for a response to the group’s findings and is awaiting a reply. 

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Comments
31

8 July 2016
1. What is the fix
2. I trust Autocar will test the performance of a Golf before and after the fix

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

8 July 2016
They should just retro fit the SCR system that they were trying to avoid paying royalties on in the US, to ALL 2005 on VW group diesel cars and of course SCR should be mandated on ALL diesel cars sold from anyone, thats what the regulators should have done 10 years ago and still isnt the case in Europe.

8 July 2016
For a company that has been motivated to be world no. 1, VW should do anything to satisfied customers who feel betrayed, even if it brings it tmporarily to no. 6. It seems they have to take lessons from some Japanese companies and I don't mean Harakiri.

8 July 2016
Let's wait what the Volkswagen fanboys have to say about this. That the fix itself is a cheat had become obvious since the VW admitted their failure to fix the same cars with same engines. And the way that the German authorities agreed to it stinks of underhand collusion and protectionism.

8 July 2016
fadyady wrote:

Let's wait what the Volkswagen fanboys have to say about this. That the fix itself is a cheat had become obvious since the VW admitted their failure to fix the same cars with same engines. And the way that the German authorities agreed to it stinks of underhand collusion and protectionism.

How do you know the "fix is a cheat"
The article fails to give any important information. For example was the consumer group testing in Italy carried out to the EU testing regime and can anyone independently verify this?
If the test figures were outside the EU test regime they are meaningless, that is why we gave a test regime regardless of how unlike real world driving it is. Currently nobody has come up with a test regime that would give accurate comparable figures under all climatic conditions, car load factors, and terrain differences.

You talk about VW fanboys but what about the fanaticism of yourself regarding VW in particular and diesel in general?

8 July 2016
The British government should never have said that VW owners would not incur extra excise duty if the fix meant that their cars were more polluting. Any extra tax should be payable, and then the owners should be able to pursue these costs from VW. As it is, its just another way the company gets let off the hook for their arrogance.

8 July 2016
catnip wrote:

The British government should never have said that VW owners would not incur extra excise duty if the fix meant that their cars were more polluting. Any extra tax should be payable, and then the owners should be able to pursue these costs from VW. As it is, its just another way the company gets let off the hook for their arrogance.

As road tax us based upon CO2 emmissions during the EU test regime not NOx unless after the "fix" the VW's use more fuel than before ie. produce more CO2 then no increase in road tax would be due and therefore no extra cost to owners and no compensation.

8 July 2016
Campervan wrote:
catnip wrote:

The British government should never have said that VW owners would not incur extra excise duty if the fix meant that their cars were more polluting. Any extra tax should be payable, and then the owners should be able to pursue these costs from VW. As it is, its just another way the company gets let off the hook for their arrogance.

As road tax us based upon CO2 emmissions during the EU test regime not NOx unless after the "fix" the VW's use more fuel than before ie. produce more CO2 then no increase in road tax would be due and therefore no extra cost to owners and no compensation.

I think youve just answered your own question. It was an "if" situation, but before we even knew what effect the fix would have, the government stated that no extra tax would be due. Takes the pressure off VW whatever the outcome.

8 July 2016
someone with a username like "Campervan" coming to the defence of VW. I wonder, has someone bought an expensive T5 or T6 recently and found its not as advertised?

8 July 2016
Citytiger wrote:

someone with a username like "Campervan" coming to the defence of VW. I wonder, has someone bought an expensive T5 or T6 recently and found its not as advertised?

I have never owned a VW product although I did fund a Fabia for my daughter 13 years ago. I do not own nor have ever owned or used a campervan but would, funds permitting, give up my tent for a posh motorhome. I feel it unlikely you are either the Duke of Westminster and own a city nor a zoo keeper that owns a tiger but hey ho we all need to use some sort of username.

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