Volkswagen Polo Facelift 14

More on the ongoing Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ scandalAutocar UK understands that Volkswagen UK chief, Paul Willis, has recently admitted that the “defeat devices” employed in numerous affected diesel cars did, in fact, alter the end result of several emission tests in Europe. The German carmaker has previously stated that only certain vehicles were equipped with said devices.

Also, Volkswagen didn’t confirm whether or not the “defeat devices” were operational during the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) emission tests. However, when queried if said cheat software was employed during type approval for the UK, Willis stated, “It seems from what I understand – and I’m not an engineer – that the system of gas regulation in the engine influenced the NOx output in cars that we sell in the UK.”

“These cars are type approved across all of Europe, of course, and they’re type approved in Germany, with separate people overlooking it,” he added. “That’s why we need to fix the cars, that’s why we need to get the customers in, and that’s why we need to put the cars right.”

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At the moment, a total of 1,189,906 diesel vehicles (spread across different VW Group brands) in the UK are believed to have been affected. Of the total, around 400,000 cars equipped with Volkswagen’s 1.6 litre EA189 diesel engine would require more than just a software recalibration. The suggested fitment of new fuel injectors would “take a longer period of time” to fix, according to Willis.

On the other hand, the remaining 700,000 plus units comprised of 2.0 litre diesels and another 30,000 plus cars with 1.2 litre diesel engines can be rectified via software patches alone. Details into how the repairs will be conducted remain relatively unknown but Willis has assured UK customers that there will be no difference in fuel economy. “Our engineers are working to the brief that there cannot be any change in miles per gallon.”

Willis has also confirmed that the VW Group will hold talks with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) should the need to compensate the treasury on revenue lost because of the “defeat devices” arise. “The British taxpayer should not be out of pocket and if necessary, we will have a meeting with HMRC,” Willis said.

VW jetta TDI US-spec

Additionally, the NEDC cycle itself has come under criticism from several quarters, including Willis and the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mike Hawes. “The test cycle dates back to the early 1980s and the industry recognises it isn’t fit for purpose,” said Hawes.

“When you put a vehicle on the test cycle, for instance, all of the electronic devices that you would turn on in the real world – air-conditioning, heating, sat-nav, Bluetooth – all of that has to be switched off, by law, because when the regulation was created that sort of technology wasn’t available,” he added. Hawes himself is convinced that a more contemporary and realistic test cycle will be introduced in 2017.

“We need completely independent tests that look at all sorts of detail, like Euro NCAP, which uses real-world testing. We need to look at that,” added Willis. On a global scale, newly-appointed Volkswagen CEO, Matthias Mueller, has stated that all affected vehicles will be rectified by the end of 2016.

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