Thousands of Volkswagen owners complain about cars’ power … – Daily Mail
Thousands of Volkswagen owners have complained about their cars losing power after the firm’s garages removed the controversial technology that allowed it to cheat on strict emissions tests.
The emissions scandal emerged in 2015 when it was revealed that VW had installed a so-called defeat device to make its cars appear more environmentally friendly.
The car maker has recalled 1.2million cars in the UK alone, with more than 720,000 having the device removed so far.
But an investigation by BBC’s Watchdog consumer programme will tonight show that thousands of these cars have later triggered ‘limp mode’ – a safety feature that protects the engine when it detects a problem by cutting almost all power, resulting in rapid deceleration.
Volkswagen recalled 1.2million cars in the UK, with more than 720,000 having the so-called defeat device removed so far following the emissions scandal
Owners also reported poor fuel consumption and starting difficulties.
A VW spokesman said: ‘There is no systemic problem. The overwhelming majority of customers have been fully satisfied.’
Limp mode is when a car almost completely loses power, resulting in juddering and rapid deceleration, often to speeds of around 20mph.
This can be dangerous and terrifying for the driver and passengers.
Drivers have also reported mysterious rattles, poor fuel consumption, and difficulties in starting.
This appears to undermine evidence from the car giant’s UK boss Paul Willis when he told MPs that the software fix has no impact on driving.
The emissions scandal erupted in 2015 when it emerged that VW had installed software in its cars to cheat strict emissions tests in the UK.
The company are now under growing pressure to compensate UK drivers over the diesel emissions cheating scandal.
Over 11 million cars worldwide are affected by the scandal.
A VW spokesman said: ‘There is no systemic problem. The overwhelming majority of customers have been fully satisfied’
The car maker has recalled 1.2million VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda diesel cars in the UK, with more than 720,000 taken into garages so far.
But VW has so far refused to offer any compensation to motorists in Britain, despite agreeing to pay billions in civil and criminal penalties in the US.
The car manufacturer has insisted that cheat devices were not fitted in cars sold in the UK, but said it is applying a ‘technical fix’ to them anyway to give drivers ‘peace of mind.’
Thousands of drivers have complained their cars have been damaged after taking them to the garage.
They include Kirsty Blackwell from Wiltshire who took her VW Caddy car into a garage in February to have the defeat device fixed.
Her car then went into limp mode when she was travelling with her children and dogs at 70mph on the motorway.
She said: ‘My children started to panic, because they didn’t know what was happening.
‘It took a lot of concentration to get the car safely off the road, with lorries thundering past in the dark. It was a scary experience. And I don’t feel particularly confident with my car anymore.’
Lisa Bryant-Jones, from Chepstow, also took her VW Passat in for the defeat device fix, and found that her car kept going into limp mode afterwards.
On one particular occasion, when she was driving with her son on a dual carriageway, the car went into limp mode and whilst Lisa was manoeuvring the car off the road, a lorry crashed into them.
She and her son were physically unharmed but both were shocked and the car was written off. Lisa said that she ‘will never buy another Volkswagen car again’.
The Watchdog investigation – which is aired on BBC One tonight at 8pm. followed Robert Sanderson, owner of a VW car who decided to take it in to have the defeat device fix completed.
He took his car to an independent garage prior to the fix, which showed his car was running smoothly.
But testing immediately after the fix showed that part of the engine – the EGR valve – was working harder than it should be.
Mr Sanderson subsequently reported engine problems, including two instances of limp mode, whilst driving. He is now looking at having the defeat device fix removed.
VW insists that there has been no ‘systemic problem’ with cars that have been taken in to be fixed.
It said that its cars deliberately go into limp mode if there is a problem with the vehicle.
But Louise Ellman, a Labour MP who chaired the commons Transport committee for more than a decade and investigated VW, said: ‘I was not at all satisfied with their answers, they are not credible. This is simply outrageous – Volkswagen should stop denying the problem they’ve created and put things right’.
She added:‘VW’s customers should be compensated. They have been treated in a grossly unfair manner.’
The UK government has previously said it is pressing VW to pay compensation to customers in the UK.
Lawyers are also attempting to win thousands of pounds in compensation for buyers of VW diesel cars made between 2009 and 2015.
A VW spokesman said: ‘To be clear, there is no systemic problem. The overwhelming majority of our customers have been fully satisfied.’