As you know, it was confirmed in 2015 that in some cases, the fuel emission and efficiency figures claimed by Volkswagen were different from those achieved in the real world.
I understand the car manufacturer’s attempt to address this, the so-called ‘VW fix’, has caused fresh concern. Indeed, I know one leading legal firm has warned that more than half of VW owners who had their cars ‘fixed’ have subsequently suffered poor performance and worse fuel consumption. Other motorists have reported problems with reduced acceleration or sudden loss of power.
I agree that British Volkswagen drivers who bought cars with what they thought were low emission vehicles have been let down. I find it discreditable that VW owners in the US are receiving up to $1,000 compensation and that here in the UK VW is refusing to compensate owners either for the inconvenience of having their cars recalled, loss of performance, rise in fuel costs or for any loss of resale value.
Volkswagen has rejected the claims of a problem with the fix and in June 2017, the company committed to provide a two-year guarantee for the cars in Europe fitted with emissions cheating devices which it agreed to modify.
My constituents in Ipswich need to have confidence in the motor industry and I support greater consumer rights for affected car buyers and believe that more should be done to monitor manufacturers and enforce existing measures already in place.
I also remain concerned about the impact of the emissions scandal and the inconsistencies between real world emissions and test data on air quality in our towns and cities. As you mention in your letter, there have been fresh reports that the ‘fix’ for affected cars may not make a difference to real world Nitrogen Oxide emissions. Air pollution-related conditions cause thousands of premature deaths in this country every year and I believe that the Government must act urgently to address this problem.
Thank you once again for contacting me and for sharing your views. I have written to Ministers at the Department for Transport to demand that Volkswagen offer a compensation package to UK consumers and I can assure you that I will follow developments on this issue closely.