New fear for VW owners

DRIVERS throughout Britain are complaining that their Volkswagen cars are losing power after the removal of controversial technology, which enabled the company to cheat on emission tests.

In 2015, the “emissions scandal” emerged 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 1.2 million cars – VW, Audi, Seat and Skoda diesels – in the UK, with more than 720,000 taken into garages so far to have the defeat device fitted.

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.

Yet an investigation broadcast last Wednesday by BBC’s Watchdog consumer programme showed that thousands of these car later triggered “limp mode”.

It is a safety feature which protects the engine when it detects a problem by cutting almost all power, resulting in juddering and rapid deceleration, often to speeds of around 20mph. This can be dangerous and terrifying for the driver and passengers.

Kirsty Blackwell, from Wiltshire, said her VW Caddy car was adapted, and then went into limp mode when she was travelling with her children and dogs at 70mph on the motorway.

“My children started to panic, because they didn’t know what was happening,” she added.

“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 any more.”

Lisa Bryant-Jones, from Chepstow, took her VW Passat in for the defeat-device fix, and found that her car kept going into limp mode afterwards.

On one occasion, when she was driving with her son on a dual carriageway, the car went into limp mode, And, while 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: “I’ll never buy a Volkswagen car again.”

But a VW spokesman said: “There is no systemic problem. The overwhelming majority of customers have been fully satisfied.”

This appears to undermine evidence from the car-giant’s UK boss, Paul Willis, who told MPs that the software fix had no impact on driving.

Labour MP Louise Ellman, who chaired the House of 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.”

Lawyers are also attempting to win thousands of pounds in compensation for those who bought VW diesel cars made between 2009 and 2015.

The company is now under growing pressure to compensate UK drivers over the diesel-emissions cheating scandal, with

more than 11 million cars worldwide affected by the scandal.

Yet the car-maker, which insisted that cheat devices were not fitted in cars sold in the UK, said it was applying a “technical fix” to them anyway to give drivers “peace of mind”.


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Posted by on Jul 21 2017. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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