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The Volkswagen Emissions Test Scandal

posted on Sep 24 2015 by Kiri Nowak

The Volkswagen Emissions Test Scandal

Update: 7th October 2015

Recalls are going to start from January onwards with the aim to get all cars fixed by the end of 2016. 

Update: 6th October 2015

The new CEO Matthias Muller has announced that VW need to do some serious cutbacks. In his words exactly "We will review all planned investments, and what isn't absolutely vital will be cancelled or delayed."

Update: 6th October 2015

You can now use your VIN number to find if the car you own is effected by the emissions scandal. Use this website VW have created specfically to help you find out. You can have a look at the website here

Update: 2nd October 2015

4,000 cars in the UK are taken off sale.

Update: 30th September 2015

VW confirmed 1.2 million cars in the UK effected by the scandal. This is all the cars using the specific diesel cars in VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda. Specifically it’s;

Audi – 393,450

Volkswagen – 508,276

Seat – 76,773

Skoda – 131,569

Volkswagen commercial vehicles – 79,838

Source: BBC

Update: 30th September 2015

The VW group has announced that up to 11million cars are going to be recalled due the emissions scandal. This is over VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat. It's expected to cost £4.3 billion for the recall alone. The VW group has set aside just £4.7 billion to cover the costs of any potential damages from the scandal but that’s not taking into consideration fines it will most likely receive from the US and most likely some countries here in Europe. With Switzerland already banning the engines themselves it wouldn’t surprise us if they fine VW as well. These fines could well be in excess of £10 billion from the US alone.

Update: 29th September 2015

Skoda add to the running total with another 1.2 million of their cars are known to have the same software onboard. This brings the total to 3.3 million over Audi and Skoda so far. Skoda have yet to admit what models have got the software.

Update: 28th September 2015

Audi report that 2.1 million cars had the faking emissions test software installed. 1.42 million of them in western Europe. More from Auto Express here.

Update: 26th September 2015

Switzerland bans VW EU5 diesels in an effort to put their foot down against VW and their emissions scandal. Further proof that the issue isn’t just bound to the states. Read more here.

Update: 25th September 2015

VW named new CEO - the former Porsche boss Matthairs Mueller has been named as the new CEO. In his words "My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group – by leaving no stone unturned and with maximum transparency, as well as drawing the right conclusions from the current situation. Under my leadership, Volkswagen will do everything it can to develop and implement the most stringent compliance and governance standards in our industry." Read more here.

Update: 25th September 2015

Elon Musk - Tesla CEO speaks out. Says that is he was named boss he would commit VW to a greener future. When speaking outside a new Tesla factory in Tilburg in the Netherlands his words exactly were: "Maybe the path to redemption is clean vehicles". Obviously pushing for his ideals that work well in Telsa to be heard over in VW. 


You may or may not heard in the news about the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal. It’s all the automotive industry is talking about. In a nutshell, Volkswagen rigged their diesel cars with software that made them score much higher when they were tested for emissions. Then after the testing, the cars return to normal, and their emissions are much higher. Volkswagen have basically cheated on emissions tests, which is kind of a big deal. Here’s what you need to know.

Initially, these reports were just coming from the US. However, according to the BBC, ‘Germany's transport minister says Volkswagen has admitted using the same fake emissions test in Europe as it used to falsify results in the US.’ Therefore, if this turns out to be true, Volkswagen drivers in Europe could also be driving cars with far worse eco credentials than advertised. Of the 11 million vehicles in Europe, they don’t know how many are affected at this point. Some of the models affected include the Jetta, Golf and Beetle, as well as some Audi models.

This scandal also raises health concerns as there are possible health risks associated with diesel emission filters. Drivers may have been exposed to much higher emissions than expected. Volkswagen are apologising for their mistake, explaining that they have ‘broken the trust of our customers and the public.’ It will be extremely difficult for them to rebuild the public’s trust in the brand, and an apology doesn’t really cut it.

It’s thought that many owners, will band together in ‘collective actions’ to sue Volkswagen under the Consumer Rights Act. Volkswagen have set aside a total of £5billion, but this figure is unlikely to cover the damages they will suffer. Interestingly, Volkswagen have hired Kirkland and Ellis, the same law firm that represented BP in the oil spill scandal in 2010.

This scandal also raises questions about other manufacturers. How do we know that other manufacturer’s haven’t been doing the same thing? Other manufacturers are now under pressure to issue a statement on the matter, and some have come forward saying that they are innocent. No matter what they say, there is likely to be a huge investigation into all car manufacturers and also the testing process in general. We will soon know if any other manufacturers have also been cheating the system too. It has just been reported that Skoda might also be involed spreading concerns that the whoel VW group are very likely to have been involved.

Editor in Chief of Auto Express, Steve Fowler, says ‘If Volkswagen are cheating in one emissions test, how many more have they been cheating on? This could be just the tip of the iceberg. And if one manufacturer is cheating, what about the others? The silence has been deafening. You would expect other car makers to be making hay at the expense of a rival. But they are not. The industry should be shouting from the rooftops that they are clean. The should come out quickly and say they are not cheating.

This is a major blow for Volkswagen, and it will no doubt have a huge impact on their reputation. They are the top global car maker in terms of car sales, but their sales numbers could be about to plummet. Their value has shrunk by 30% since the scandal was uncovered, investors in the company are obviously going to be very unhappy and nervous about the future of the brand.

They could end up facing 18 billion dollars worth of fines, potentially even more depending on how widespread the cheating is. Wolfsburg. the hometown of Volkswagen is now under threat as over half of the town’s inhabitants work at the Volkswagen plant.

It’s likely that there will be a number of people fired by Volkswagen, as the company launches an internal investigation to try and figure who was responsible for falsify the tests. They will want to hold someone responsible for programming their diesel cars to emit lower levels of nitrogen oxides during testing.

Volkswagen’s German boss, Martin Winterkom has already stepped down, and he claims he didn’t know anything about the scandal. This was his statement regarding the cheating.

‘Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen group. As CEO I accept responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the supervisory board to agree on terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen group.I am doing this in the interests of the company, even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing on my part.’

Watch this space for further developments.

** Please note, if you own a Volkswagen car, should the scandal end up also being in the UK, you should seek your own legal advice. We cannot be held responsbile for any views expressed in this article. This content is provided for information purposes only, no legal responsibility is accepted.