What does the VW emissions scandal mean for UK garages?
By Kyle Linsay
Monday, October 12, 2015 - 14:00
Euro Car Parts asks repair industry experts for their views
- VW story has increased awareness of what were previously considered trade issues
- What fix will VW go for – a software update or bolting something onto the exhaust?
“Fitting type approved parts is the only way to guarantee the quality standard and performance of the replacement part in line with manufacturers’ specifications” – Martin Gray, Euro Car Parts CEO
Euro Car Parts, the UK’s leading distributor of parts for all makes of cars and light commercial vehicles, has asked experts in emissions-related repairs what they make of the VW ‘defeat device’ scandal affecting Audi, Seat, Skoda, VW and VW Commercial vehicles.
Supplier view: Klarius
Klarius Emission Control supplies Euro Car Parts with a comprehensive range of high quality exhausts, catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters.
Tony Wilson, managing director of Klarius, said: “The Volkswagen emissions scandal began when regulators in America discovered software designed to cheat their stringent emissions test. VW has since announced that 11million of its vehicles worldwide have this software installed, and that sales of 4,000 vehicles in the UK are being halted. Aside from the reputational damage for VW, this story has increased public awareness of what were previously considered trade issues.
“The upside for the aftermarket is that more people are now aware of the ‘type approval’ tests. EC Directives require replacement parts, such as exhausts and catalytic converters, to achieve certain performance standards, yet non-type approved parts are still being fitted. Motorists can rest assured that every single Klarius cat or exhaust sold by Euro Car Parts meets the type approval regulations. Armed with this knowledge, we urge consumers to ask for Klarius by name.”
Garage view: D&D Autos
Euro Car Parts customer D&D Autos, in Ashford, Kent, is a recent winner of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF)Garage of the Year award.
Bosch Master Technician, Matthew Pestridge, workshop manager at D&D Autos, said: “It is surprising to see a brand like VW suffering an issue like this but, despite all the headlines, we have not had a single call about it. Owners who bought a VW because of their environmental performance will rightly be shocked, but most buy on comfort, reliability and badge.
“Vital details are also yet to emerge: How much is the emissions figure out by? What fix will VW go for – a software update or bolting something onto the exhaust system? Are any other manufacturers going to get dragged in? As to what this means for independent repairers like us, we will keep on doing the right things like running diagnostic health checks and using type approved parts, which we always do anyway. The Toyota accelerator pedal recall shows how these big news stories can go – a year later very few people mention it and used car values don’t seem to have been affected.”
Distributor view: Euro Car Parts
Martin Gray, chief executive officer (CEO) of Euro Car Parts,said: “Across all industries, consumers are increasingly well informed about discrepancies between ‘real world’ performance and lab test results. For instance, motorists have noticed that the miles per gallon (MPG) figure in their vehicle handbook often bears little resemblance to the amount of fuel burned on their daily commute. This VW software cheat is an extreme example. It is one thing to make a mistake but to deliberately set out to deceive right from the conceptual design phase takes it to a totally unacceptable level. It is a shame because it damages the perception of the automotive industry when actually there has been fantastic progress in reducing emissions.
“Fitting type approved parts is the only way to guarantee the quality standard and performance of the replacement part in line with manufacturers’ specifications. That’s why Euro Car Parts supplies only type approved exhausts and cats. We work hard to ensure all our emissions products are compliant with directive 70/157/EEC regarding noise, type approval Regulation 59 regarding replacement silencing systems, and type approval Regulation 103 regarding catalytic convertors anddiesel particulate filters. From the consumers’ perspective, choosing properly approved replacement parts will mean lower pollution, higher MPG, less engine wear, longer vehicle life and a quieter environment both inside and outside the vehicle.”