In the same week, a major recall and important alert have been launched by manufacturers of some of Britain’s best-selling cars. BMW has initiated a UK-wide recall of 312,000 cars after admitting certain models have suffered an electrical short-circuit. And Volkswagen and Seat are having to repair around 30,000 models due to a potentially dangerous seatbelt defect.
BMW is setting out to rectify an electrical fault that could leave drivers stranded with no headlights, brake lights, indicators or hazard lights. It made primetime TV after featuring on BBC One’s Watchdog show.
Meanwhile, independent safety tests revealed that the latest generation VW Polo, Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona, could unfasten one of the rear seatbelts without warning.
It is important that owners of the affected vehicles take action and follow the manufacturers’ guidelines to ensure their vehicle remains safe to drive. Here’s how to find out if the recall and alert involve your car.
The Volkswagen diesel scandal has taken a new twist with British owners of affected diesel-powered Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda cars possibly in line for compensation. And consumer organisation Which? wants the British government to do more to ensure British buyers of affected cars are suitably reimbursed.
European Union regulators are now urging 20 European countries to investigate whether consumers are entitled to financial compensation from VW, like drivers in the US. Vera Jourova, the EU justice commissioner, told The Financial Times it was likely the German car maker had breached Europe’s “unfair commercial practices directive.” The legislation is in place to protect consumers from misleading advertising claims.
Why does the EU want action?
Can England beat Spain in Green Flag’s Euros for Cars 2016? Follow the semi-final clash on Twitter, using #Eurocars2016
The line-up for the Euros for Cars 2016 semi-finals has been decided, and it promises closely fought, wheel-to-wheel action which anyone using Twitter can get involved in. Tonight, from 7pm, Spain’s bullish Leon hatchback will take on England and everybody’s favourite classic car, the plucky pint-size Mini.
The action doesn’t stop there. Tomorrow night Albania will tackle Belgium, in a clash between the robust Mercedes E-Class, which makes for a hard working taxi in Albania, and the even more rugged Minerva, a Land Rover that was built under licence in Belgium for the nation’s armed forces.
Here are the cars for Group D in our Euros for Cars contest. The idea is simple. You vote for your favourite cars on Twitter using #Eurocars2016 when the two countries play each other in the Euro 2016 football tournament. As in the real Euros, the cars then get three points for winning the most votes, one point if it’s a draw and nothing for losing. The cars with the most points progress through to the knock-out stages.
For each of the 24 countries in Euro 2016, we’ve selected a car that we think best represents each. Of course not all the nations have a car industry. For those that don’t we’ve chosen cars popular or made in that country, or in some cases, cars that were once built or will be built there.
The most talked-about car of the 2016 Geneva Motor Show was Bugatti’s Chiron (Picture © Bugatti)
March is an exciting time for drivers. The new registration change, to the ‘16’ prefix, comes into force, prompting the busiest month for the motor trade. And the razzmatazz of the Geneva Motor Show ramps up, where many of the most significant cars of 2016 will be revealed.
This year has been one of the busiest shows in memory. New cars of all shapes and sizes were revealed, and regardless of whether drivers are on the hunt for a stylish new SUV or mind-blowing supercar, the show offered something for everyone – and all the cars will be going on sale in Britain soon.
Here are the six most exciting cars of the Geneva Motor Show.
Cars including the VW Golf 1.6TDI have been affected (Picture © Volkswagen)
The VW diesel engine crisis rumbles on. So we’ve got the answers to the most frequently asked questions for the 1.2 million UK owners of affected cars. In September 2015, news broke that German car maker Volkswagen had fitted a ‘defeat device’ to the engine software of some of its diesel cars. This was designed to cheat emissions tests, primarily in the US, by knowing when the car was being tested and cutting dangerous nitrogen oxide outputs down to a legal level. These were then put back up to be illegal to improve economy when the car was on the road.
VW diesel engine crisis: Which engines are affected?
The engine at the centre of this is the EA 189 engine. This is an engine architecture so it’s not as simple as saying it’s just an engine with a certain capacity. It affects the 1.2, 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels that comply with EU 5 emissions laws. These have been fitted to models as diverse as the SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Octavia, Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3 Cabriolet. Petrol engines are unaffected.
VW diesel engine crisis: Are other engines involved?
The US environment regulators have now found that the ‘defeat device’ has also been used on the larger 3.0-litre diesel engines. These engines are in models that were built between 2014 and 16. They include cars such as the Volkswagen Touareg, Audi A4 and A6 and Porsche Cayenne. It is currently unclear if UK cars are involved.
September means one thing for millions of parents across the country: back to school. But after the fun of the summer holidays it can be a rude awakening – especially if the family car is on its last legs.
Just as children outgrown their school uniform and shoes faster than parents can ask ‘Does that still fit you?’, so they can outgrow the family car. One minute your Ford Fiesta fitted them perfectly, the next they’ve got their knees wedged into the back of mum or dad’s seat and are grumbling that there’s no way to stream music or charge their smartphone.
As a parent of three who knows what it takes for a car to make light work of the school run, I’ve rounded up three of the best used and new cars for busy families: cars that are as practical as they are safe, and as affordable to run as they are good to drive. Continue reading