Investigation

Volkswagen Cars Have Worse Economy After Dieselgate Fix

Volkswagen still has a long way to go to repair the damage done by Dieselgate.

The notorious Dieselgate scandal really needs no introduction by now. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Volkswagen fitted emissions cheating devices to millions of diesel vehicles. The German automaker is still trying to make amends for the scandal after being ordered to buy back nearly 500,000 affected vehicles and compensate owners. In the UK, VW isn’t obligated to offer compensation, but is required to provide a technical fix which has been applied to more than 600,000 out of the 1.2 million affected vehicles.

VW argues that compensation isn’t necessary because the fix doesn’t affect fuel economy. However, a True MPG test conducted by Autocar has revealed that the fix VW is applying to affected diesel-powered cars is having an adverse effect on fuel economy. The test was carried out at the Millbrook Proving Ground laboratory and was based on a real-world route that takes in town, rural and highway driving. Using a 2013 Volkswagen Touran fitted with a 1.6-liter diesel engine, which is one of three affected units sold in the UK, the results showed that NOx emissions were almost halved from 0.639 g/km to 0.351 g/km before and after the fix.

However, the combined fuel economy fell from 50.72 mpg to 47.61 mpg, meaning that C02 emissions increased by 6.5 percent. This obviously contradicts VW’s claim that the fix doesn’t affect economy or performance. “Looking at the pre and post-fix test data for fuel economy, it’s concerning that the data doesn’t back that claim up,” said the car’s owner Jonathan Mudd who provided his Touran to Autocar for testing. “My car is now less fuel-efficient than it was before the required technical measure was carried out and means I’ll be out of pocket as a result.” VW unsurprisingly disagrees with Autocars’ damning report, claiming that more than 20 variables can affect a test result.

However, the manufacturer refused to provide any further details when Autocar requested clarification. The report comes not long after UK owners of diesel VWs reported that the repairs were ruining their cars and making them practically undrivable. Clearly, VW still has a long way to go to repair the damage done by Dieselgate.

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