VW ‘diesel-gate’ fix: is performance being harmed?

The ‘diesel-gate’ saga that has dogged Volkswagen (VW) has rumbled on for a while and it seemed the recent $157 million settlement to resolve environmental claims across 10 states in the US may give the German car company a breather.

However, it appears some owners believe the ‘fix’ put in vehicles by VW, may well be causing fuel efficiency and performance problems.

It has been reported more than 100 drivers have contacted the law firms running class actions against Volkswagen, complaining about a drop in fuel efficiency and performance after having the software upgrade.

These are accusations that have been strongly denied by both VW and Audi.

Volkswagen told the ABC more than 20,000 Australian cars had received the upgrade, and more than three million worldwide.

It said the software update was based on tests by authorities in Europe, as well as independent motorists organisations in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

“They also certified that previous engine performance, maximum torque and previous noise emissions remain unchanged,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“An array of factors – including fluctuating road and traffic conditions, driving style and environmental influences – affects the fuel consumption of all vehicles.

“Independent testing has shown that the upgrade has no negative effect on fuel consumption.”

RACQ’s Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said if motorists had concerns around performance and fuel efficiency then they should return their vehicles to the dealer.

“If owners believe the vehicle no longer performs correctly they’ll need to return it to the dealership for further investigation,” Mr Spalding said.

“It’s important there’s open communication between the dealership and the motorist and we advise all car owners to follow the instructions of the manufacturer.

“The fix put in place by VW has been approved by Australian regulators but we would always encourage people to voice their concerns should there be a continuing issue with their vehicle.”