Vauxhall is dragged into Emissions Scandal

A new report from Germany has pointed the finger at Vauxhall for using some form of “cheat device” on its Zafira 1.6CDTi model and potentially others. A charge Vauxhall is firmly denying. The report claims the car emits levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) up to 17 times the level allowed under EU6 emission regulations.

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The German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) which is behind this claim has conducted a series of emissions tests on a Zafira 1.6 CDTi which suggest it’s scamming emissions tests in Europe by utilizing a crude “cheat device” that recognises when only the front axle is turning instead of both axles.

The implication of this report is clear: that Vauxhall is guilty of dirty tricks similar to those used at Volkswagen, perhaps with ‘defeat devices’ used to manipulate test results in laboratory conditions.

Vauxhall has firmly rejected the claims, however, saying the emission values of the Zafira 1.6 CDTi are ‘absolutely correct’ and ‘in line with the law’.

The basis of this claim comes from The team from the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, which carried out the tests on behalf of DUH, said in its conclusion that the use of the selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system , which injects a urea-based substance into the exhaust in order to reduce NOx emissions, seemed to be dependent on the test conditions.

“The NOx emissions in the NEDC cycle depend on the test mode of two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive,” it said. “In the two-wheel-drive mode the vehicle met the NOx regulations. At low speeds, NOx emissions are likely to depend on the activity or the storage effect of the SCR system.

“The behaviour of the SCR system seems to be dependent on the test mode, since the NOx trends are different in the two test stand modes of operation.”

In a statement, Opel & Vauxhall, whose parent company is General Motors (GM), said: “Opel emphatically rebuts the claims of the German Environmental Relief. We would once again like to emphasize the following, valid for all our cars: GM developed software has no features that detect whether the vehicle is undergoing an exhaust emissions test.

GM also say they have conducted their own tests using a four-wheel rolling road and saw no discrepancies from the results on a two-wheel rolling road.

DUH has referred its report to KBA, Germany’s federal motor transport authority, demanding they conduct further tests in light of the findings in the report.

We shall have to wait and see the outcome of this story as it develops as to whether another non VW Group Manufacturer becomes embroiled in this emissions scandal.

Bought your Car on Finance? You may be entitled to a refund!

If you bought your car on credit, you might be entitled to a refund based on previous Financial Ombudsman rulings and consumer protection built into the Consumer Protection Act, Section 75. Lets dig a little deeper.

At the start of #VWGATE we explained to angry customers on this website we were looking into the possibility that people may be entitled to refunds due to the cheating software if they had taken out a consumer finance Agreement. This may indeed be the case but there is a still a grey area surrounding the exact complaint that can and should be made when seeking to claim your refund and compensation. Also, there will be a process of who to complain to and in which order.

Letter's received by UK customers (left) versus US customers (right). Notice the lack of apology to UK customers.
Letter’s received by UK customers (left) versus US customers (right). Notice the lack of apology to UK customers.

This is because of the striking lack of customer care VW Group is showing towards its customers in the UK and around the EU. We are still none the wiser as to exactly what “fix” is going to be implemented by VW Group and what that will mean to how the car will perform afterwards. Recalls are expected to commence in January 2016 and some customers won’t get a fix until the end of 2016.

It is understood that VW engineers are operating to the brief that MPG must remain unchanged. But what that will mean for BHP, Torque and overall driving dynamics is unclear.

The basis of any claim to refund consumer finance payments and deposits will hinge upon the basic fact that the goods purchased were mis represented (eg emissions data) and any change in how the car performs (post fix). Therefore it is going to be a period of time until clear facts can be pulled together to make a formal complaint to the Financial Ombudsman.

In plain English that means; what you got for your money is not what you thought you were getting or should have got…

We’ve borrowed some examples of previous ombudsman rulings to showcase what the result of properly upheld complaints may look like:

“Miss G bought a van through hire purchase, but discovered several problems with it. She arranged two separate independent reports – one blamed the problems on wear and tear, but the second found longstanding issues with the vehicle. But the finance provider refused to cancel the agreement.

The ombudsman found the second report more credible. It told the finance provider to cancel the hire purchase agreement, refund Miss G’s initial deposit and all the payments she’d made since the van failed its MOT – plus 8% interest.

In another case, Mr A bought a new car on finance from a local dealership. He tried out the test model in the showroom, but when HIS car arrived he found he had almost no headroom.

This was because he’d opted for a car with a sunroof, which had a dramatic effect on the space inside.

The ombudsman decided if Mr A had been warned about this, he wouldn’t have bought the car. So it told the finance provider to cancel the agreement, refund the deposit and 30% of the payments, and write off any remaining debt.”

Let’s be clear here. Any providers of Finance for affected vehicles are going to try their hardest to not refund and try wiggle out of any compensation as hard as they can. We think this will boil down to the Financial Ombudsman having to step in and issue a judgement on this whole saga to protect consumers.

Stay tuned for more news regarding affected vehicles and compensation updates.

Dear UK Customers, your apology was edited out by software…

This week in the UK has seen many hundreds of thousands of VW, Audi, Seat & Skoda customers receive the first official communications from their car manufacturers regarding their affected vehicles.

Earlier this week VW boss admitted in front of Parliament “the system of gas regulation in the engine influenced the NOx output in cars that we sell in the UK” eg in plain English… they cheated the tests in the UK.

However, what is of stark contrast is the attitude towards saying “sorry” to customers that VW is taking in the USA versus the UK.

Have a look at the letters below and see if you can spot the difference??

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Poll reveals 1/3 of people will never consider a VW Group car again!

According to a Carbuyer user survey that asked whether the Emissions Scandal had put them off VW Group cars, a whopping third of respondents said they would never consider buying a VW Group car.

VW Group Scandal

This news may come as a shock to affected customers hoping that the value of their cars will not suffer. Clearly, VW and its other brands Audi, Skoda & Seat are taking a reputation battering, and quite rightly so. However it is their customers who will be out of pocket by £thousands if consumer confidence and brand trust continues to crumble.

Loss of value is one angle we are keenly exploring for affected consumers and as yet it is unclear exactly what this figure will look like in percentage terms. Rumours are circulating that tomorrow, VW group will release long awaited details of the technical fix they plan on implementing for affected customers.

However, the details of any technical fix might have some undesirable affects on current performance and other emissions so we wait with baited breath to see exactly what they will do to correct this disaster and make customers good.

If you have an affected VW Group vehicle, log your details with us to be kept updated as and when the legal situation becomes a little clearer regarding potential claim values.

Stay tuned.

UK Emissions Scandal: 1.189m UK vehicles affected

At long last VW Group has confirmed how many UK cars are affected with its cheating “defeat” device software. In total there are 1.189 million UK cars with the software installed.

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VW has confirmed the breakdown of branded vehicles affected as follows:

VW: 508,276

Audi: 393,450

Skoda: 131,569

Seat: 76,773

VW Commercial: 79,838

VW stated that over the next few days details of customers affected will be sent to local dealers who will in turn, contact all customers.

It also stated “In the meantime, all vehicles are technically safe and road worthy.”

EmissionsClaims.co.uk is investigating fully all possible avenues for claiming compensation for affected vehicle owners. Multiple lines of enquiry are open and as details of this scandal emerge we are dealing with the facts as they occur.

We are inundated with potential claimants contacting us as to their legal options. We expect this scandal to be one of the largest group actions in UK legal history.

VW, Audi, Seat & Skoda in 11m vehicle recall

Update @6pm: According the the knowledgeable @Jim_Holder from WhatCar & Autocar “a VW company spokesman has confirmed that “large numbers” of UK cars will be affected.

In a statement, the firm says it will be contacting owners of the affected vehicles, with the technical measures needed to remedy the ‘cheat device’ installed on those cars due to be released in October.

News has emerged today of parent company VW’s plans to issue a fix or recall to the 11 million vehicles fitted with cheat software.

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Customers of affected models according to sources will be notified this week.

The company has admitted that 11m vehicles worldwide were fitted with defeat devices and is poised to recall them all. VW has said that 5m Volkswagen-branded cars are affected as well as 2.1m Audis, 1.2m Skodas, 700,000 Seats, and 1.8m light commercial vehicles

The company faces fines of up to $18bn (£11.9bn) but also one of the biggest legal claims in history from customers and shareholders around the world as growing anger mounts as more facts of the severity of this corporate fraud emerges daily.

We are awaiting news of exactly what “fix” this recall will bring and what impact it has on both Customers and any vehicle performance.

Our lawyers are monitoring the situation closely to see what this unfolding situation will mean for millions of UK motorists who are at real risk of financial loss and of being stuck with a vehicle considerably different to the one they were sold. Stay tuned for updates.

700k Seat cars confirmed to have VW’s Cheat software

Breaking news in the VW emissions scandal that has Diesel customers fuming over parent group VW’s wholesale deceit its subsidiary brand Seat has just confirmed that over 700,000 of its cars are also affected.

Seat

In not breaking with VW policy of giving a breakdown of cars and models affected per country we are left to guess and consumers ponder what will happen to the value of their cars.

Here is a little summary of VW brands and cars with cheating software:
VW – 5m
Audi – 2.1m
Skoda – 1.2m
Seat – 700,000
Commercial Vans – 1.8m

We are inundated with consumers wanting to know if they have a potential claim, we will update everyone ASAP.

Skoda admits 1.2million Cars fitted with Cheating software

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The VAG brands affected by this emissions scandal are falling thick and fast today. News just in for Diesel Skoda customers is a confirmation from Skoda that 1.2 million of its cars worldwide have the defeat device software although being as unhelpful as they can possibly be, they have not yet confirmed any country or model specific numbers.

Vorsprung Durch Deceit… 2.1million Audi’s are rigged with defeat software too!

vorsprung-durch-deceit

Audi has said 2.1 million of its cars worldwide were fitted with the software that allowed parent Volkswagen to cheat US emission tests.

Some 1.42 million Audi vehicles with so-called EU5 engines are affected in western Europe, with 577,000 in Germany, and almost 13,000 in the US.

Affected models include the A1, A3, A4, A5, A6, TT, Q3 and Q5, a spokesman told Reuters news agency this Monday morning.

It is unclear how many UK cars are affected at this stage.