VOLKSWAGEN has been accused of being responsible for a swathe of breakdowns and a widespread reduction in engine performance as result of their emissions-based software fix.
The German automaker issued a 1.2 million car recall across Britain to update engine software on their 2.0-litre EA 189 after the diesel scandal that saw the company accused of cheating emissions tests.
Volkswagen stands by its statement that the update would make no difference to engine performance, and that their car’s specifications would be unchanged.
“No significant changes to key vehicle attributes are expected, including fuel consumption, reliability, durability, vehicle performance, drivability, or other driving characteristics,” the company claimed in a brochure issued to all US customers.
But now a large group of UK drivers seek to dispute the claim, using evidence they have gathered to suggest that the update is responsible for thousands of cases of mechanical failure.
The Volkswagen Diesel Customer Forum, a closed Facebook group with 1,750 members, claims to have uncovered numerous cases of drivers who have experienced problems since the software update installation.
The Forum submitted a written report to the Transport Select Committee, highlighting a number of case studies where breakdowns and performance drops have been experienced “shortly after implementation of VAG’s measures.”
Included in the report were a number of examples of customers who had experienced issues with their vehicle, with some even left out-of-pocket as a result of additional servicing costs.
“I have a VW Caddy that had the fix two weeks ago,” one Forum member wrote.
“On Thursday I broke down on the M5 – only able to go at 20 mph, and had to be trucked home.
“The car is now at the dealers who are quoting a 2-week wait to even look at it, but the RAC suggested an injector failure.
“It has only done 30k and VW are saying this is unrelated to the emissions fix.”
“I foolishly allowed Audi Hamilton to apply the update to my 2011 A3 1.6 last week,” another user said.
“Yesterday it went into limp mode, so I took it back to them immediately.
“They checked it out and have now said it needs a new EGR Cooler which will be £1,100 for the part alone and are also saying this is coincidental and completely unrelated to the update.”
The Customer Forum also claimed that when approached by a customer about an issue related to the software update, a number of Volkswagen Group dealers responded that they had “never come across the symptoms before”, and were not aware of any cars being negatively affected by the new engine software.
Has your vehicle been affected by an engine software update conducted by the Volkswagen Group? If so get in touch with Dan Elsom at email@example.com
One VW Group customer told the Forum they had experienced a loud engine “clatter” in their Skoda Yeti following the fix, and similar to other users, had received no support from their dealership on the matter.
“Yeti owner from Cornwall with the usual engine ‘clatter’ people are hearing after the recall “fix”, the customer said.
“Both Citygate in Watford and a lady on the emissions recall helpline claim to have never come across the symptoms before.
“My car was updated between test drive and collection, despite me explicitly asking for it not to be.
“It seemed okay for about a week and I thought I was one of the lucky ones.
“In hindsight, I should’ve rejected it immediately. Are there any tuners offering a downgrade for a reasonable price?
“Much as I’d rather Skoda/VW sorted this out, I’m not holding out much hope for a decent outcome.”
Prior to the report being released, Volkswagen’s UK managing director, Paul Willis, had spoken to the Transport Select Committee, claiming just 0.75 percent of cars fixed with the engine update had been subject to complaint – roughly 3,500 vehicles.
While the Forum feels that even one per cent is too much, they claim the number affected is actually much higher.
The report concluded by demanding the recall to be put on hold and a “comprehensive and long-lasting warranty for the fix” be put in place.