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Fleets and company car drivers caught up in VW emissons' scandal 'can cancel orders'

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Fleets and company car drivers will be able to cancel their orders for certain Volkswagen Group models as they face increases in CO2 emissions and potentially tax payments.

They will also be able to choose a different model.

Volkswagen Group brands – Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda and Seat – had previously told fleets they could not guarantee the CO2 emissions of certain vehicles, with quoted figures labelled “provisional”.

This followed the admission of what it called “irregularities” in CO2 figures while investigating the separate NOx emissions issue, after admitting fitting cars with a software device to cheat pollution tests.

The most significant CO2 revision was to the automatic Seat Leon X-Perience four-wheel drive estate, reports AM sister title Fleet News.

At launch, emissions were 129g/km, and have since increased to 139g/km.

The increase means a two percentage point increase in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax for drivers, costing a 20% taxpayer an additional £120 a year, as well as the loss for businesses of the 18% write-down allowance, because emissions are above 130g/km.

The manual car emissions remain below 130g/km, at 125g/km.

The Audi A1 and certain variants of the new A4 have seen increases of 2-4g/km, with the majority adding an extra percentage point onto a driver’s BIK tax bracket.

An Audi spokesman said: “As the revised figures were made available before the start of production, customers who placed an order based on the preliminary data in the pre-sales phase were informed of the changes and were able to amend or cancel their orders.”

Meanwhile, figures for three of the six Volkswagen models affected in the UK have been released, with revisions affecting 2.0-litre 150hp diesel manual Golfs, rising from 106 to 109g/km and 109 to 112g/km dependent on trim.

One Jetta and one Golf cabrio model are also affected, with the cabrio seeing a 6g/km rise.

Customers have again been offered the option to accept the changes, cancel the order or swap to another Volkswagen vehicle without penalty.

Volkswagen Group said it has received around 100 orders for affected cars.

“Customers who are already driving these vehicles are not affected by these restated figures as their cars’ CO2 values remain unchanged,” said a Volkswagen spokesman.

“There are no retrospective consequences.”

The manufacturer also claimed that fuel consumption figures were not affected, despite the CO2 change.

Škoda told Fleet News none of its vehicles were affected. 

The revision comes as Volkswagen begins the implementation of a fix for vehicles fitted with software to cheat NOx tests. 

The manufacturer was given the go-ahead by German authorities to begin the “remedial” fixes required for European cars affected by the software at the end of last year.

The 1.2-litre and 2.0-litre versions of affected EA189 diesel engines will get a software update, while 1.6-litre engines will get a software update in addition to a ‘flow rectifier’ being fitted in front of the air mass sensor.

“The fixes are being rolled out as the software becomes available according to a schedule that enables our retailers to maintain a regular service to our customers for routine service and repair,” a Volkswagen Group spokesman said.

Fleets that outright purchase vehicles will be contacted directly by the manufacturer for the work to be scheduled, while fleets that lease their vehicles will be contacted by their contract hire provider.

Volkswagen said it had begun updating software on affected Amarok models and says the fix will be rolled out on other models from March.  

The spokesman said: “Although the number of affected engine types is small, when multiplied across the number of brands, models, model variants, power outputs and transmission options, the number of software versions becomes large.  

“Our overall plan is to phase in the updates smoothly over the year.

“The precise timings for the introduction of the fixes for individual models will be firmed up as we move forward.”

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