Thousands of drivers have reportedly suffered problems with VW Group cars since having them recalled over the “defeat device” fitted to fool emissions testing. The legal firm leading a class action bid against the VW Group in England and Wales says that a survey of its clients found that more than 5,000 had experienced problems with their cars post-fix. Fifty-three percent experienced reduced fuel economy; 40 percent had seen a reduction in performance; and 14 percent had seen their car go into “limp mode” where the car suddenly loses most of its power.
Damon Parker, head of litigation at Harcus Sinclair, said that based on these numbers, 381,000 cars in the United Kingdom may have experienced problems after the fix, "of which 56,000 may have switched into limp mode.” This shows that the fix intended to reduce NOx emissions may have a detrimental impact on the car’s performance and running costs, Parker said.
The BBC’s Watchdog programme spoke to drivers whose cars had gone into limp mode unexpectedly, including one whose car was struck by a lorry after losing power on a dual carriageway. Another told of how her VW van suddenly decelerated while on the motorway as it unexpectedly went into limp mode.
Responding to the programme’s investigation, VW said, “To be clear, there is no systemic problem. The overwhelming majority of our customers have been fully satisfied.