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 days of the independent car companies are pretty much over. Motor makers are now superbrands so they can reap the enormous financial rewards of selling millions of models all over the globe. In a world where every car company seems to be owned by someone else, we look at some of the smaller firms and ask who owns them? Some of the questions are cunning. And there are a couple of teasers in there to make it a bit of a challenge. If you enjoy this, try some of our other mind-stretchers.
The plug-in Golf GTE looks great but how does it stack up against its more conventional petrol and diesel siblings? (Picture © Volkswagen)
The debate over which is the best fuel is becoming an increasingly hot topic among car buyers. Petrol v diesel v hybrid v electric: which really is the best type of car to own? To try to find the answer, we’ve taken Volkswagen’s perennially popular Golf, the only model available in the UK that uses all four kinds of power source, and crunched the numbers.
We’ve split our report into four sections. This enables us to look at how the different versions of the Golf compare to each other in key areas of price, performance, economy, and running costs. The cars are ranked by our favoured criteria in each chart with the model at the top the best. It’s a fascinating read.
|Golf 1.0 TSI BlueMotion
|Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion
It’s not easy being a driver who wants to do their bit and buy a car with the lowest nitrogen oxide emissions. These NOx are harmful pollutants emitted by cars that are estimated to contribute to over 30,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. Information about a car’s NOx levels has been hard to come by as, for obvious reasons, vehicle manufacturers tend to advertise cars’ fuel economy or performance rather than the nasty particulates pumped out of exhausts.
But now a new website allows drivers to see just how polluting Britain’s most popular makes and model of car are when used in normal, everyday driving conditions.
New research says nearly every car pumps out illegal levels of toxic gases
It’s not just Volkswagens that allegedly pump dangerous toxins into the atmosphere, according to the latest emissions shock. New research claims nine out of 10 diesel cars on Britain’s roads exceed official limits for illegal gases. The study also found that 10 per cent of petrol cars surpassed nitrogen oxide (NOx) limits, set in 2011. And the majority of petrol cars go beyond EU carbon monoxide (CO) output levels.
According to Which?, part of the Consumer Association: “It’s not just Volkswagen. In fact, it’s not just diesel engines, either. It’s almost everyone. Whether diesel, petrol or hybrid, the majority of cars exceed EU emission limits when faced with our more realistic tests.” So what is the truth behind the latest revelations? And more importantly where, as drivers and car owners, do we stand? Continue reading
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.
The Volkswagen emissions scandal has rocked the car industry and prompted drivers everywhere to wonder if they can trust anything car makers tell them. The outrage was discovered in the US and involves a programme hidden in cars’ computers. This can tell when the vehicle is undergoing an emissions test. It then switches the engine to a mode where it emits less Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) to pass strict air quality tests. There are 11 million cars world-wide that could be affected. Here’s what British drivers need to know.