Likely

Jennifer Young

07 October 2015

Francis Hanna and Co., Solicitors have obtained the following information from a leading mechanical engineer, in relation to the likely ‘fix’ Volkswagen could implement to the 1.2 million vehicles affected in the UK that have been fitted with the emissions cheating software and have learned that Volkswagen faces one of two options:

Firstly, to simply remove the offending software from the Engine Control Unit (ECU) and replace with another conforming calibration. This would be the quickest and most cost efficient fix for Volkswagen, but they say that their engineer has warned that the result of this is likely to be deterioration in fuel consumption together with the driveability of the vehicle being compromised and possibly the noise and harshness of the engine also being affected.

The second option available to Volkswagen, Francis Hanna & Co have been advised, is for them to fit a larger ‘Adblue’ tank if not already fitted somewhere to the vehicle. These tanks are fitted on the newer models of VW. However, Francis Hanna & Co are advised by their engineer that there is extensive pipe work associated with the fitting of this tank, which is generally fitted in the vicinity of the fuel tank, and as such the volume of the fuel tank, passenger compartment or luggage space could be compromised. This would then result in a decreased fuel range which would mean owners would be required to visit the petrol station more often.  If Volkswagen opts for this solution then the good news is that emissions would conform to the required standards and fuel consumption would be largely unaffected. However, Francis Hanna & Co understand that this solution is likely to cost Volkswagen millions of pounds and may therefore not be in their contemplation as a method of ‘fixing’ the problem.

In relation to vehicle owners having specifically purchased ‘greener’ vehicles, Francis Hanna & Co are advised by their engineer that vehicles with the emissions cheating software are almost certainly not ‘greener’ as they have been led to believe. Indeed, during normal driving these vehicles can emit between 10 and 40 times the level of emissions of a particular pollutant legislated by the US EPA standard.

Francis Hanna and Co have said that what is clear is that either way VW vehicle owners and owners of the other brands affected are likely to suffer in that the vehicle they believed they were purchasing is not the vehicle they received. If Volkswagen simply removes the software, owners may be left with less refined vehicles and will have increased fuel consumption. If Volkswagen opt for the latter more expensive fix, owners could be left with modified vehicles with reduced fuel capacity, meaning more trips to the petrol station and a likely depreciation in re-sale value as a result.

If you would like to check to see if your vehicle is one of those affected, Volkswagen have opened a webpage which can be found on the following link http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/owners/dieselinfo. If you find that your vehicle is one of those affected, register your details with us at here and we will keep you updated in respect of your legal rights.