VW emissions scandal: no mandatory recall for the UK

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : VW emissions scandal: no mandatory recall for the UK

The UK’s Department for Transport confirms vehicles affected by VW’s emissions scandal in in which country won’t be subject to a mandatory recall

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The UK’s Department for Transport has confirmed in which in which won’t be issuing a mandatory recall for cars affected by Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in in which country.

Speaking to Autocar, a DfT spokesman confirmed in which the UK won’t follow the example set by the German authorities in issuing a mandatory recall for affected cars. Volkswagen has already began a voluntary recall program for cars in in which country, although the DfT has made clear in which “in which can be VW’s position along with also VW’s problem.”

“We will continue to put pressure on VW to make sure in which happens as quickly as possible,” said the spokesman “to ensure in which people within the UK can have these problems fixed.

“The government has been putting pressure on VW to address these issues quickly. The government expects VW to set up the next steps on how they are going to correct in which problem along with also support owners within the UK. within the past few weeks the Transport Secretary has spoken to the German Transport Minister about the actions of VW, along with also has been reassured in which the German authorities are working closely with VW.”

In Germany, the federal transport authority, the KBA, can be forcing Volkswagen to recall the 2.4 million cars within the country which have its ‘defeat device’ software installed.

VW’s UK boss faces MPs

Earlier in which week, Volkswagen UK boss Paul Willis admitted in which his company’s so-called ‘defeat device’ did affect the results of emissions tests in Europe.

Previously, the German maker has only confirmed in which the software-based emissions cheat was present on some vehicles in Europe – along with also had not outlined whether the defeat device was active during the NEDC emissions test used across the EU.

However, when asked during a 45-minute grilling via MPs on the transport select committee if the defeat device had been used during type approval testing for the UK, Willis admitted, “in which seems via what I understand – along with also I’m not an engineer – in which the system of gas regulation within the engine influenced the NOx output in cars in which we sell within the UK. These cars are type approved across all of Europe, of course, along with also they’re type approved in Germany, with separate people overlooking in which.

“We mishandled the situation in so far as our engines behaved differently within the testing regime to the real world. in which’s why we need to fix the cars, in which’s why we need to get the customers in, along with also in which’s why we need to put the cars right. We mishandled the situation, without a shadow of a doubt.

“in which seems in which within the test regime the engine behaved differently to the real-world situation via software. The software affected the flow of gas to the engine which reduced the NOx.”

UK’s 1.6 diesel fix won’t need a fresh urea tank

Of the 1.2 million affected cars within the UK, Willis said 400,000 – believed to be those with the 1.6-litre variation of the EA189 diesel engine – would certainly need additional corrective work beyond a software upgrade, including fresh fuel injectors, along with also in which in which would certainly “take a longer period of time”.

However, he said in which the installation of exhaust after-treatments, likely to be fitted to some cars affected within the US within the form of a urea tank, would certainly not be necessary within the UK. “My understanding can be in which the addition of urea tanks can be not part of the solution in Europe,” he stated. “There’s a different technical configuration on the cars along with also different technical regulations apply. My understanding can be in which the costs are different, too.”

The remaining 700,000-odd units – 2.0-litre diesels along with also around 30,000 1.2-litre diesels – can be fixed by software patches alone.

While details on the technical fix Volkswagen will use to correct the affected cars remain limited, Willis said in which customers should notice no difference in fuel economy once the fix has been applied. “Our engineers are working to the brief in which there cannot be any change in miles per gallon,” he said.

Willis said VW reacted “as quickly as possible”

The session at the House of Commons was the first opportunity for the transport select committee – a cross-party Centeng made up of 11 MPs – to question VW representatives or the vehicle industry on the dieselgate scandal.

Willis came under particular pressure on the amount of time taken by VW UK to remove affected vehicles – around 4000 cars still on the market – via sale. He argued in which the firm had acted as quickly as possible, saying, “On 22nd September we were made aware by VW headquarters in Wolfsburg in which there was a potential problem with diesel engines. On 28th September we were getting more details along with also I phoned Mr McLoughlin [Patrick McLoughin, the Transport Secretary] to say to him in which as soon as I knew which vehicles were affected, I would certainly voluntarily stop selling those cars. in which phone call took place at 3pm on 28th September.

“On 30th September, at 9am within the morning, I received the VIN numbers via the various different factories. along with also in which can be the point: there were eight days between when we first knew in which affected Europe along with also when I stopped selling cars. along with also the reason for in which can be the complexity of the number of cars involved. There are 60 different designs, several different brands, three different engines along with also two different transmissions.

“I found the VIN numbers out precisely at 9am, along with also at 1.30pm, once I had clarified in which with the computer systems, I stopped selling those cars voluntarily. in which took four hours along with also 30 minutes via the time I knew the affected cars until I took action – four hours along with also 30 minutes.”

Existing test comes under fire via MPs

Both Willis along with also the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers along with also Traders, Mike Hawes, were asked if the current emissions testing procedure was fit for purpose. Hawes admitted in which the difference between real-world figures along with also those provided by the NEDC could be “up to 30%”. “These figures are meant for a comparison process along with also always contain a disclaimer about the real world along with also in which can be for some very sensible comparitive reasons,” he said.

“The test cycle dates back to the early 1980s along with also the industry recognises in which isn’t fit for purpose,” he added. “When you put a vehicle on the test cycle, for instance, all of the electronic devices in which you would certainly turn on within the real world – air-conditioning, heating, sat-nav, Bluetooth – all of in which has to be switched off, by law, because when the regulation was created in which sort of technology wasn’t available. Then there’s the issue of real-world driving conditions – congestion, temperature, load, gradient – all huge along with also all ruled out by the test cycle to get a repeatable cycle.”

Hawes said he believes a more realistic testing cycle will be introduced on a compulsory basis via the beginning of 2017.

Willis also criticised the current testing procedure. He said: “If we look at the test regime on emissions, we know in which can be old-fashioned along with also not fit for purpose. We need completely independent tests in which look at all sorts of detail, like Euro NCAP, which uses real-world testing. We need to look at in which.”

“We have a duty to the public to reassure them [customers] in which our cars are safe. There can be no relation to safety with in which issue although we do need to regain trust along with also we will do in which with transparency.”

Willis also apologised to VW customers within the UK saying: “Volkswagen has significantly let down its customers along with also the wider public. We recognise we’ve fallen short of the standards expected along with also we will take all the necessary steps to regain trust.”

VW UK could pay back missing tax to government

Willis has promised in which the VW Group will speak to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs to discuss any tax payments on vehicles in which may need to be made the wake of the dieselgate scandal. When asked if the firm had measures in place to compensate the Treasury for any revenues missed because of the defeat devices, Willis said, “I’m not sure there’s any clear evidence in which the CO2 emissions on these cars are different within the real world. although we can have a conversation downstream. The British taxpayer should not be out of pocket along with also if necessary, we will have a meeting with HMRC.”

The scale of VW’s global problem

In total, VW has said in which just under 11 million vehicles worldwide contain the software ‘defeat device’ in which was exposed in American emissions tests last month. While two-thirds are thought to be fixable which has a software upgrade, in which’s believed in which a total of 3.6 million affected VW, Audi, Skoda along with also Seat designs – those featuring the 1.6-litre variation of the EA189 turbodiesel engine – will require hardware modifications to correct the issue. US designs may require the addition of a urea tank, whereas European editions of the 1.6 are likely to need fresh fuel injectors.

VW’s fresh CEO Matthias Müller has pledged in which all affected cars will be fixed by the end of next year. He added: “Our most important task will be to regain lost confidence with our customers, partners, investors along with also the general public. The first step in in which direction will be a fast along with also relentless examination along with also explanation. Only when everything comes to the table, only when things are completely explained, only then will people trust us again.

“Believe me, I too am impatient. although in in which situation, in which we are dealing with four brands along with also many designs, care can be more important than speed.

“The technical solutions to the problems are in sight. By contrast, the business along with also financial consequences are not yet foreseeable.”

VW, Audi, Skoda along with also Seat launch websites for owners to check if they are affected

Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda along with also Seat have launched websites in which allow owners to check if their car can be affected by the emissions scandal.   

The VW site collapsed soon after launch as a result of the amount of traffic trying to access in which, although has since been functioning normally. Sites via AudiSkoda along with also Seat are all running without problem.

Government won’t hike tax bills

The Government has confirmed in which UK taxpayers will not be hit by a higher tax bill if in which turns out in which their cars were found to have cheated tests.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “The government expects VW to support owners of these vehicles already purchased within the UK along with also we are playing our part by ensuring no one will end up with higher tax costs as a result of in which scandal.”

He also confirmed in which the Department for Transport has pushed for more clarity on the matter along with also in which the next round of tests will look at whether the software “can be being used elsewhere”.

“Neither cars, nor the testing facilities will be provided by the vehicle industry themselves”. VW has offered to pay with in which testing if the government requests in which does so.

VW’s remaining EU5 stock taken off sale within the UK

Following the scandal, Volkswagen Group UK took 4000 cars fitted with the EA189 engine off sale, pending investigations into how in which will remove the illegal software in which cheated US emissions tests while still ensuring the cars comply with all emissions regulations.

The move covered vehicles via Audi, Seat, Skoda, Volkswagen, along with also the cars along with also commercial vehicles affected represent around 3% of the Group’s total UK stock. They are supposed to be put back on sale once the Group’s modifications have been put in place.

A spokesman stressed in which the decision to withdraw the cars via sale was a voluntary measure, rather than a regulatory one. The vehicles remained on sale beyond the September 1 deadline for Euro 6 emissions regulations to come in to effect because legislation allows manufactures to clear stock of Euro 5 engined vehicles. VW has previously confirmed all of its cars fitted with the latest, Euro 6-classified engines are fully legal.

in which has also been announced in which anyone with an order placed for an affected car will be given the choice of withdrawing via the sale without penalty, taking delivery of the vehicle after the modifications have been fitted or taking delivery of the vehicle as soon as in which can be available along with also then having the required modifications retro-fitted.

More than 1.1m UK cars affected

The full number of cars to be recalled within the UK under VW’s voluntary scheme can be 1,189,906, along with also in which can be spread across several different brands within the VW Group. Volkswagen accounts for the majority, with 508,276 cars affected, while Audi has to recall 393,450 designs. Skoda also features a notable number affected, with 131,569. Seat along with also Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles are also involved, with 76,773 along with also 79,838 vehicles being recalled respectively.

In a statement, the firm said: “Customers with these vehicles will be kept informed over the coming weeks along with also months. All of the Group brands affected will set up national websites to update customers on developments.”

in which can be not yet known whether the owners of affected cars will be offered compensation. Various lobbying groups are claiming in which the potential loss of value to the cars should be reimbursed by Volkswagen.

A spokesman had previously confirmed in which VW will not rush a technical solution, preferring to focus on getting in which right. He said: “We don’t want to be fast – we want to be certain. Over the next days along with also weeks we will write to all affected customers along with also we will put in place free-of-charge fixes for all affected customers.”

However, the spokesman was unable to confirm whether the revisions would certainly require the vehicles to be recertified for their emissions along with also economy figures.

The official VW statement reads: “An internal evaluation on Friday established in which a service procedure can be required for some several million vehicles via the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand out of a total eleven million Group vehicles worldwide. These vehicles via certain designs along with also style years (such as the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat or the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) are fitted with Type EA 189 diesel engines.”

Why did VW cheat?

A senior source within the German car industry has shed light on the most significant outstanding question of the VW emissions scandal, namely why?

If the offending cars have all the emissions equipment on board to make the vehicle compliant with the regulations, why take such an enormous risk engineering within the ‘defeat device’ to bypass in which equipment?

“I expect in which was pressure on the engineers in which made them do in which,” said the source. “Remember in which system was designed some time ago when emissions controls were not as sophisticated as they are at in which point, along with also the pressure to pass the tests would certainly have been immense.

“along with also I imagine the reason they installed the defeat device can be in which without in which there would certainly have serious consequences not within the laboratory although on the road, either with the vehicle’s performance, driveability, fuel consumption or some combination of the three.”

He went on to confirm in which technology has since evolved sufficiently for there to be no need for such devices today.

So why, then, did VW not simply stop using the defeat device when in which was no longer needed? “There are two possible reasons. First in which would certainly likely have been integrated within the entire electronic architecture of the vehicle along with also not easy to remove, second to remove in which those responsible for its installation would certainly have first to have flagged up the fact in which they’d put in which there, which they’d probably not be too keen to do…”

The source said he believed the defeat device was likely to be present also on VW products sold in Europe with the EA189 engine [since confirmed by a German minister] although almost certainly not active which he said, was “nothing like as bad as having active, although still illegal”.

He said also he believed in which VW alone was using such a device along with also in which all additional German car manufacturers had no equivalent systems on the cars they sold today.

The one remaining question can be who signed off the defeat device. Former VW boss Martin Winterkorn has denied knowledge of in which along with also his resignation, while inevitable, was no kind of admission of guilt.

Whoever was responsible, in which seems likely in which more heads will have to roll before the true picture emerges.

11m Audis, Seats, Skodas along with also VWs affected globally

While the VW Group has said in which 11 million vehicles worldwide are affected by the scandal, only 5m are via Volkswagen brand itself. Audi has revealed in which 2.1 million vehicles via its brand are affected worldwide, with 1.42 million of those being in Western Europe. Skoda has also revealed in which 1.2 million of its cars worldwide are affected by the scandal. Seat has said in which 700,000 of its vehicles are affected globally. 

A VW Group statement read: “As previously announced, all fresh Volkswagen Passenger Car brand vehicles in which fulfill the EU6 norm valid throughout Europe are not affected. in which therefore also includes the current Golf, Passat along with also Touran designs.”

The figures also include 1.8 million light commercial vehicles.

 

SMMT: just because VW cheated, in which doesn’t mean the whole industry can be cheating

Speaking at a conference on air quality, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers along with also Traders (SMMT) Mike Hawes said: “Consumers are right to be concerned following the events of the past ten days. although we must remember, the actions of one company do not mean collusion. Implicating additional brands or companies would certainly be unfair along with also wrong.

“in which would certainly be wrong to penalise all diesels. The latest diesel vehicles are the cleanest ever – effectively reducing nitrogen oxide levels by 92% compared with earlier generations. They make a significant contribution to climate change targets, an environmental challenge which cannot be ignored.

“We recognise the current regulations for testing are out of date. We want, for consumers along with also our own industry’s integrity, a fresh emissions test in which embraces fresh technologies, along with also which can be more representative of on the road conditions.”

VW’s global meltdown

There have been calls for governmental probes in to VW’s actions via around the earth since the firm admitted cheating within the US emissions tests, including in Canada, Germany, Italy, South Korea, UK along with also the USA. The UK government has already announced in which will launch an inquiry into the scandal.

VW has put aside a fund of €6.5bn (approximately £4.7bn) to cover the costs of dealing with the issue, along with also says in which will adjust its financial targets for 2015 as a result. The matter came to light when the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) along with also the California Air Resources Board (CARB) revealed in which while testing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel cars of the Volkswagen Group they detected electronic manipulations in which violate American environmental standards.

Reports have since surfaced in which Volkswagen was warned about the legality of its software as far back as 2007.

According to the EPA, in which means in which the cars under investigation could be emitting up to 40 times the national standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx), which can be linked to asthma along with also lung illnesses. The cars affected are 2009-2014 Jettas, Beetles, Golfs, Audi A3s, along with also VW Passats built via 2014-15.

The issue will be investigated by the US Congress’s Oversight along with also Investigations Subcommittee.

“Strong emissions standards are in place for the benefit of public health,” said House Energy along with also Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton along with also Oversight along with also Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy in a joint statement.

“Manufacturers throughout the United States, along with also across the earth, have developed leading technologies to reduce airborne emissions within the limits set by EPA along with also state environmental agencies. However, reported EPA allegations in which certain Volkswagen designs contained software to defeat auto emissions tests raise serious questions,” they said.

“We will follow the facts. We are also concerned in which auto consumers may have been deceived – in which what they were purchasing did not come as advertised. The American people deserve answers along with also assurances in which in which will not happen again. We intend to get those answers.”

A date for the US Congress hearing has yet to be set. Since the scandal broke the VW Group share cost has fallen by more than 50% via its 2015 high.

VW emissions scandal: how in which unfolded

The Volkswagen emissions scandal can be currently headline news, although the story has its roots in May 2014, when a study found higher-than-clamed emissions coming via two Volkswagen vehicles. Here’s our timeline of how the story unfolded.

May 2014 The West Virginia University’s (WVU) Centre for Alternative Fuels, Engines along with also Emissions publishes results of a study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation in which found significantly higher-than-claimed in-use emissions via two diesel cars, a 2012 Jetta along with also a 2013 Passat. A BMW X5 also tested passed the tests. 

WVU alerts California Air Resources Board (CARB) along with also the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the issue.

Summer 2014 Over the course of the year following the publication of the WVU study, VW continues to assert to CARB along with also the EPA in which the increased emissions via these vehicles could be attributed to various technical issues along with also unexpected in-use conditions.

December 2014 VW issues a voluntary recall of approximately 500,000 vehicles to address the emissions issue.

6 May 2015 CARB, in coordination with the EPA, conducts follow-up testing of these vehicles both within the laboratory along with also during normal road operation to confirm the efficacy of VW’s recall. Testing shows the recall has had only a limited benefit.

None of the potential technical issues suggested by VW can explain the higher test results consistently confirmed during further testing by CARB.

Summer 2015 CARB along with also the EPA make in which clear in which they will not approve certificates of conformity – necessary for vehicles to be sold within the USA – for VW’s 2016 style year diesel vehicles until the maker car adequately explain the anomalous emissions along with also ensure the agencies in which the 2016 style year vehicles would certainly not have similar issues.

3 September 2015 During a meeting VW admits in which has designed along with also installed a defeat device in these vehicles within the form of a sophisticated software algorithm in which detects when a vehicle can be undergoing emissions testing.

18 September 2015 CARB along with also the EPA make their findings public, stating in which Volkswagen has violated two sections of the Clean Air Act, firstly by selling or offering for sale vehicles in which did not comply with their certificates of conformity, along with also second by manufacturing along with also installing into these vehicles an electronic control module capable of switching its calibration to beat the emissions tests.

Read more on the Volkswagen emissions scandal:

Six things the firm could cut

Bugatti under threat as boss warns of ‘painful’ cuts

Blog – navel gazing at Volkswagen

Blog – Keeping up with pollution laws can be not always easy for car makers

Blog – How Volkswagen can survive its emissions scandal

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