Thousands of VW Owners Suffer Power Loss at High Speed After ‘Fix’
- The next hearing for the largest consumer action in UK legal history will be heard on Tuesday, 27 March at the Royal Courts of Justice by Senior Master Fontaine. The hearing is expected to last three days.
- Slater and Gordon, who represent the largest group of claimants with more than 40,000 VW, Audi Seat and Skoda owners, is leading the action to seek compensation for past and present owners of affected vehicles.
- More than 1 million affected car owners in the UK have yet to join the legal action. Current and former car owners of affected vehicles are being encouraged to join vwemissionsaction.com.
- A survey of more than 11,600 affected car owners who had their cars ‘fixed’ by VW revealed that more than 1,200 had gone into ‘limp mode’ while travelling along a motorway or busy road.
More than one in ten VW owners who had their car ‘fixed’ following the emissions scandal claim that their vehicle lost power at high speed, exposing them to danger.
Several motorists have told how they feared for their lives when they had to swerve across two lanes of traffic as their car suffered a drastic loss of power while travelling at 70mph on a motorway. Almost 500 said they had gone into limp mode on a motorway.
Within about five seconds, the car had decelerated to 10 miles per hour. I’d have been like a ping pong ball on that motorway. My adrenaline was rushing, I was really shaken.
Thousands of owners of affected cars – including VWs, Audis, Seats and Skodas – have reported reliability issues following the ‘fix’, with 40 per cent of those questioned revealing their car has suffered technical problems since undergoing VW’s procedure. Problems reported include suffering a reduction in fuel efficiency (18 per cent), a reduction in engine power (16 per cent), their car juddering (11 per cent) and complete engine failure (2 per cent). Over 50 per cent of respondents said they regretted having the fix carried out.
The survey – the largest of affected car owners of the emissions scandal – was carried out by law firm Slater and Gordon, which represents more than 40,000 car owners, to assess the impact the fix has had on vehicles. More than 17,000 people responded to the survey, with over 11,600 saying they had the fix carried out. The research is published the day before the High Court case that will confirm the start of one of the largest group actions in UK legal history.
Semina Mohammed, 37, described the moment she had to veer across three lanes of traffic on the M56 near Chester after her VW Golf TDI suddenly juddered to a halt a few days after she had the fix.
The secondary school teacher, from Altrincham, Cheshire, said: “I’ve never been that frightened in the car before. I genuinely feared for my life.
“I was in the outside lane, overtaking another car, and suddenly I felt the power dropping. I panicked. That had never happened before. I had to get across three lanes of traffic in rush hour. My instinct kicked in.
“You had haulage trucks, other cars, cars joining the motorway. I managed to get across; God only knows how I managed. If there had been a car next to me I wouldn’t have been able to get across.
“Within about five seconds, the car had decelerated to 10 miles per hour. I’d have been like a ping pong ball on that motorway. My adrenaline was rushing, I was really shaken.
“When you stop and think about what could have happened, it’s really scary. It’s unbelievable VW thinks it can get away with putting people’s lives at risk.”
The survey also revealed that around eight per cent of those whose cars had undergone the fix had suffered more than five separate malfunctions.
Gareth Pope, a specialist group litigation lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which is representing over 40,000 people in the legal action against VW, said: “It has been over two years since the scandal was exposed and UK consumers have waited in vain for Volkswagen to respond to their complaints fairly.
“VW’s only response has been to offer consumers in the UK a fix that our clients are telling us doesn’t work. The survey results are deeply troubling but confirm what clients have been telling us that many have suffered technical problems following the fix. Our clients feel that it is simply unacceptable that they have been exposed to dangerous situations.
“Our clients have suffered a sudden loss of power while travelling at high speed, which could have resulted in serious injury to them and other road users. It is crucial that VW addresses these serious technical failings to ensure motorists are not risking their lives when they get behind the wheel. It is now a matter for our justice system, as our clients have been left with no option but to take legal action.”
Over nine in 10 (91 per cent) felt the emissions scandal had affected the value of their car while 87 per cent said they felt VW was less trustworthy since the truth came out.