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CO2 rises announced for dozens of VW Group cars

Date: 09 February 2016   |   Author:

The Volkswagen Group has increased the CO2 figures and reduced the stated fuel economy for a total of 42 models across its Audi and Seat ranges, according to data supplied to BusinessCar by industry expert KwikCarcost.

Several engines across the Audi A1 and Seat Leon ranges see increases of between 2g/km and 10g/km, which for three models means a 2% benefit-in-kind increase, while 31 models move up by one band and there is no movement for a further eight. The biggest change was Seat's Leon X-perience 184hp diesel, which went from 129g/km to 139g/km, breaching the 130g/km capital allowance writing-down threshold.

For the A1, the new figures came into effect in late December for cars built from the week commencing 22 February, and the Seat changes were published on all cars on 7 December.

The alterations in efficiency figures are part of what both brands called a "normal process" of assessing cars once they are in production, compared with the initial verifications before launch.

Seat confirmed that all customers across fleet and retail with pending orders were given the chance to change or cancel their order at no cost, and said that compensation was offered to fleet customers that would be hit by higher company car BIK and fuel bills as a result.

Audi said it has 38 orders placed by fewer than 20 customers that would be impacted by the change in CO2 figures between order and production, and has alerted these to the CO2 change, offering the option of cancelling the order if preferred.

"Throughout the year the CO2 emissions of our vehicles are regularly checked within the certified Conformity of Production process because small changes can occur in terms of production processes, equipment levels etc., or some deviations can appear from initial homologation with pre-series cars," read an Audi statement prepared for BusinessCar. "When these changes create a subsequent change in the CO2 emission levels of a vehicle, this is discussed with the relevant authorities and the figures are subsequently adjusted within the certified process."

The new 3.0-litre 218hp engine in the A4 was also revised upwards by 4g/km just ahead of launch, and the company also dropped a Q3 optional alloy wheel to avoid confusion in the wake of new tyre clustering regulations that require different figures to be applied where tyre sizes have an impact upon emissions.
Seat also recently tweaked the figures for some Ibiza models around the launch of the facelifted supermini.

KwikCarcost's Mark Jowsey told BusinessCar that he didn't envisage any residual value implications as a result of the emissions figures rising, and the BIK and fuel differences amount to just under £50 over three years for a 20% taxpayer in most cases, while the reduced fuel efficiency figure means additional bills of around £100-£200 over three years and 60,000 miles.

Rupert Pontin of RV expert Glass's said prices on VW Group products are still running at around 2.5% below index. "We do see a difference, but it's really difficult for the trade as a whole to make head or tail of it."
"The interesting thing is that for the general public, because the difference in mpg is minimal, from a running costs point of view, I'm not sure how much difference it makes," he continued. "It's more about how someone in the trade reflects."

These CO2 increases follow revisions to nine Volkswagen models in December.

Seat and Audi both told BusinessCar that there are no more models currently set to experience an increase in emissions levels, although it couldn't be completely ruled out for the future. Fellow VW Group brand Skoda, meanwhile, said there are no CO2 increases in the pipeline for its products.