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What to do if your VW contains cheat software

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What to do if your VW contains cheat software
Photo: DPA
17:31 CEST+02:00
The Local explains how owners can tell if their Volkswagen contains one of the engines designed to cheat emissions testing - and what to do next.

With half a million Audis confirmed as containing Volkswagen's emissions cheating software added to 2.8 million Volkswagens, it's clear there are a whole lot of cars on German roads that are under official scrutiny.

It looks to be certain that these cars will have to be modified, so it's important to know if your car is affected, and if so what this means for you.

The first thing to say is not to panic. Volkswagen have already released a statement reassuring customers that the cars are "completely safe and driveable“.

The company is working on a solution at the moment, reports Spiegel. Only when they have decided on an appropriate course of action will affected cars be called back into garages.

How do I tell if my car is affected?

You can tell if your car is affected by the number on the motor which consists of a maximum of three letters and a number. This number can be found on the engine and also in the buyer's contract.

In the VW scandal, the engine in question is the Diesel Engine EA 189.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen confirmed to The Local via email that "within the next few days, VW will offer the opportunity for you to check through the internet whether your car is affected".

Audis at a dealership. Photo: DPA

What should I do if my car is affected?

It is clear that the software does not pose a danger to the driver - the impact is environmental - so continuing to use the car would pose a threat to air quality alone.

VW say that they will write to car owners whose cars have the cheating software, advising them to set up an appointment with their car dealership.

"Until then, you don't have to do anything," the company said.

Will I get a replacement while the car is being fixed?

The short answer is: probably not. But VW aren't taking responsibility for this one.

"Normally not," VW warn. "But this changes from dealer to dealer."

How much will it cost?

VW say that the car owners will not have to pay anything for the repairs. But they do not confirm whether they will cover ancillary costs such as paying for a car rental while your wheels are in the garage.

How long will the repairs take?

Again VW are not giving a clear answer.

"We are looking into this at the moment. Before we have come to an agreement with the authorities, we can't comment," the company told The Local.

The German government has given Volkswagen until October 7th to come up with a plan to fix all the affected cars.

Volkswagen boss Michael Müller said on Tuesday that the company has a "comprehensive action plan" to fix the cheating designs that it will submit to regulators in the coming days.

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