The Volkswagen emissions scandal has taken another ominous twist with the German car giant admitting to 'irregularities' in carbon dioxide (Co2) emissions.
Around 800,000 cars could be affected across Europe across both diesel and, for the first time, petrol engines. VW Group owns a number of brands including Audi, Skoda and Seat.
VW have indicated that the problem could cost around €2bn (£1.4bn), suggesting a recall may be necessary.
Shares in the company have plummeted since September, when accusations of 'fixing' diesel emissions tests emerged in the United States.
It is alleged that software on some vehicles was able to detect when the car was being tested for emissions. This so-called 'defeat device' would then tell the engine to reduce the emissions in the exhaust fumes by anything up to 40%. This produced a distorted reading, concealing the car's 'real world' emissions (ie: when not under test), when a higher level of emission is released into the environment.
This latest twist in the ongoing saga could see further setbacks for the beleaguered VW, which could face heavy fines in the billions of dollars.
It remains to be seen whether other car manufacturers have used this, or any similar software, to distort emission test results.
Numbers of UK cars affected
The VW Group has said that the following quantities of UK vehicles are set for a recall as a result of the initial diesel emissions scandal:
- VW passenger cars - 508,276
- Audi - 393,450
- Seat - 76,773
- Skoda - 131,569
- VW commercial vehicles - 79,838
Total VW Group cars set for UK recall: 1,189,906 (source: AutoExpress)
Further recalls may be necessary in light of the more recent findings.
Can I claim?
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 or items which have been found to be defective. If you require any advice in respect of a Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat you have purchased you should not hesitate to contact our specialist dispute resolution team on 01616 966 229.