Following the recent discovery of emissions fixing in the USA, Volkswagen has now announced their intention to recall 1.2 million vehicles situated in showrooms across the UK.
According to BBC News, shares in VW have already dropped by 44%. With the company facing industry fines of £4.7 billion to cover the costs of the scandal, consumers are now positioning for legal action to recover their losses.
So what has VW done?
On the 18th of September 2015 the US environmental standards agency filed a notice of violation of the clean air act to the Volkswagen group that sold cars between 2009 and 2015. The allegations were in light of Volkswagen having installed software into approximately 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide. On the 20th September 2015 the
then Chief Executive of VW in the United States, Martin Winterkorn issued a public apology, admitting the ‘breaking of trust’ of customers.
The Telegraph further reported that approximately 1.2 million UK vehicles have been affected in the UK, this followed Volkwagen’s recall of over 1,189,906 vehicles on the 30th September 2015. Inasmuch as Volkwagen intends to rectify the issues in 1 million UK based vehicles, the rectifications will lead to a loss of value for those consumers, not to mention issues concerning ongoing costs and other issues of misleading in their initial purchases of the vehicles.
Italy’s competition authority stated in light of the deception of Volkswagen that “Consumers may have been misled in their purchasing decisions by the claims used by Volkswagen on emissions.”
So when will consumers receive their answers? Speaking to online magazine Auto Express, a VW spokesperson stated that “Some questions can’t be answered for legal reasons, others can’t be answered for technical reasons, we think it’s going to be weeks rather than months before people find out what the technical fix is.”
So where does these leave consumers? Many consumers that have entered into vehicle finance, or spent large sums of money on their vehicles now face a dilemma. VW has of course offered to rectify the problem by removing the software but this is an in-depth process that will diminish the value of the vehicle.
Their admission of fault now also covers many models which include the Jetta, Beetle, Audi A3 and Golf models from 2009 to 2015 and the Passat in 2014 and 2015. Audi, Seat and Skoda cars are also affected, as well as VW vans.
VW assure consumers and motorists that their vehicles are safe and roadworthy and that they will be in contact with their customers in the forthcoming weeks and months. This issue presents a has huge fallout for the consumer, which at the time of writing is still unclear. What is clear is that millions of VW drivers have purchased cars which do not match their publicised specifications, which opens the manufacturer to claims for increased road tax, reduced performance and many with finance packages for cars which will ultimately devalue quickly.
More news to follow…