Volkswagen emissions scandal: find out if your diesel car needs fixing

The UK Department of Transport is working with the Vehicle Certification Agency to see if the emissions issue is industry wide.

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Volkswagen is working on recalling 1.2 million vehicles in the UK that were fitted with cheating software, or defeat devices, that give a false reading of diesel emissions in a test environment.

But the scandal may extend further than just Volkswagen cars, according to the German motoring organisation Adac.

Which Volkswagen cars are affected in the UK?

VW has said the diesel vehicles amount to almost 1.2 million including:

508,276 Volkswagens

393,450 Audis

76,773 Seats

131,569 Škodas

79,838 Volkswagen commercial vehicles.

What about other cars?

Adac, the German motoring organisation, used a strict new emissions standard that will not come into force for another two years to test other makes of cars. It said the following cars also exceed the anticipated limit for nitrogen oxide by more than 10 times:

Volvo S60

Renault’s Espace Energy 

Jeep Renegade 

This kind of testing has implicated many other manufacturers including Mercedes, BMW, Mazda, Fiat, Ford and Peugeot. 

Are these manufacturers accused of cheating?

It’s actually the test that is said to be at fault. The European test, called the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), has been met by all manufacturers. But it is widely known that emissions are far higher than they should be on the road.

What should I do if I have a Volkswagen car?

Volkswagen has said that in the coming days, Vehicle Identification Numbers of affected cars will be released to retailers. It’s also going to set up a self-serve process for customers to check their own cars and see if changes need to be made.

It has also set aside money to pay for the cost of refitting the emissions software.

What about other cars?

The UK Department of Transport is working with the Vehicle Certification Agency to see if the emissions issue is industry wide.

But at the moment there is no recall for other cars.

Is there any incentive for taking my car in to have emissions software fixed?

All the affected cars are roadworthy and do not pose imminent health risks, so at the moment it seems there is no incentive to take an affected car in to get its emissions software fixed.

Some drivers may be encouraged to do so because illegal levels of nitrogen oxides can have serious long term health implications, including respiratory problems and premature death. 

According to some reports, there might be financial consequences for getting the fix. Peter De Nayer, a former AA inspector, told the Telegraph that the new systems will cost drivers up to £50 more a year, or more if the new exhaust system needs to be replaced again.