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Clever car trick lands Volkswagen in hot water - emissions scandal

View profile for Liam Waine
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Shares in VW have plummeted since the recent discovery of an item of software on certain models of VW cars which have been tested for emissions.

It is alleged that the software on the vehicles can detect when the car is being tested for emissions. When the car detects it is being tested the software then tells the engine to reduce the emissions in the exhaust fumes by anything up to 40%. This produces a distorted reading which disguises the fact that when the car is being driven normally (ie: without being tested) a higher level of emission is being released into the environment.

It has been reported that VW could be heavily fined as a result of them using this deceptive software and this figure is likely to be in the billions of dollars.

This is a significant find in the car industry and it remains to be seen whether any other car manufacturers have used this, or any similar software, to distort emission test results. What is certain is that a thorough investigation is likely to take place across the car industry to see if this is a widespread problem. Whether this is limited to the US only time will tell.

Can I claim against Volkswagen?

Liam Waine is a consumer law specialist in the dispute resolution team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP. He regularly advises consumers on their rights in respect of buying vehicles which have been found to be defective. If you require any advice in respect of a Volkswagen you have purchased you should not hesitate to contact our specialist dispute resolution team on 0175 321 6399

Models affected

The cars being recalled in the USA are all

  • Audi A3
  • Beetle
  • Golf
  • Passat
  • VW Jetta