We take a look at the latest Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Update. What’s in store for UK drivers & how you can check if your VW’s affected?
Volkswagen has admitted to cheating on their emissions tests in the US, with over 11 million cars expected to be affected it’s difficult to predict what affect this Volkswagen emissions scandal update will have on the future of this German car giant.
The Environmental Protection Agency which originally exposed the cheating can fine Volkswagen $37,500 (£25,000) per vehicle for the near 500,000 cars affected in the US, so that’s an estimated $18 billion in fines that they could face – which is staggering.
We’re yet to hear a confirmation from the US Justice Department about if or when they’ll be launching criminal action. But, in the private courts the reaction has been much quicker with 100s of claims already being dealt with by private law-firms although it may be the case that these are consolidated rather than being seen on an individual basis. Claims are expected to be based around Volkswagen defrauding customers, with many arguing that they should either get a full refund as many people paid extra for a vehicle which they believed would be more eco-friendly and other asking for compensation because of the expected fall in the values of second-hand VWs.
Who knows how much these claims will cost VW, but they’ve put aside $7.3 billion or £4.8 billion although by the sounds of things that won’t quite cover it.
As you may expect Volkswagen shares have been heavily affected by the scandal, seeing a 40% drop sing the Volkswagen admitted to cheating. Unfortunately as by-product of this many of VWs component suppliers have also been hit – even though there has been no mention of their involvement or knowledge of the devices fitted.
After the latest Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Update it’s unclear what the full affect of the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal will be, and it’s impact of the diesel industry.
Although in the US the diesel market is small, in Europe 50% of all cars sold this year alone were diesels. It is possible then that the VW scandal will lead to research into cleaner diesel technology, however many believe that we need to turn away from diesel as a fuel altogether and instead focus our efforts towards hybrid and electric technology.
How do I know if my VW is affected?
First off it’s important to remember that the devices fitted to allow these vehicle to pass emission tests, do not affect the safety or road worthiness of the vehicle.
With during the recent Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Update it was announced that an expected 1.2 million cars are affected in the UK, including Audi, Seat, Skoda and VW commercial vehicles; the next step is for VW to get in touch with their customers letting them know whether their vehicle is one of those 1.2 million.
Volkswagen will be sending vehicle identification numbers to retailers, so that they can then get in touch with their customers as well as coming up with a way for customers themselves to find it their car is affected. Plans to then resolve these problems with the affected vehicles will be presented by VW later this month.
It’s unsurprising really that such a large number of UK cars are expected to be affected. Not only is the UK the largest market for new cars, second only in Europe to Germany, but around half of these new cars are in fact diesel, with a record high in new car sales in 2014 pushed by forecourt incentives and innovative financial deals.
In 2001 the Labour government encourage people to purchase diesel cars with a graded system for vehicle excise duty where vehicles which emitted higher carbon dioxide (CO₂) being penalised. So many people opted for diesel which saved them money and they believed meant they could ‘go green’. Unfortunately new research has found that newer diesel cars emit more nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) than older diesel technologies, which is found to be more harmful to human health.
This unexpected Volkswagen emissions scandal is sure to have a big influence on how we view not just Volkswagen, but all big car manufacturers and diesel technologies.
Find out if your VW is affected by the Volkswagen Emissions Scandal here, you’ll need your Vehicle Idenitication Number (VIN) or your Vehicle Registration Number.