Euro Car Parts asks how will VW scandal affect UK garages?
Following Klarius’ take on the Volkswagen emissions scandal, UK parts distributor Euro Car Parts has asked other experts in emissions-related repairs what they make of the VW ‘defeat device’ scandal affecting Audi, Seat, Skoda, VW and VW Commercial vehicles. Tony Wilson, managing director of Klarius, said that the “upside for the aftermarket” is the wider knowledge of type approval tests. “EC Directives require replacement parts, such as exhausts and catalytic converters, to achieve certain performance standards, yet non-type approved parts are still being fitted. Motorists can rest assured that every single Klarius cat or exhaust sold by Euro Car Parts meets the type approval regulations. Armed with this knowledge, we urge consumers to ask for Klarius by name.”
A view from the garage was provided by D&D Autos, an ECP customer in Ashford, Kent, and a recent winner of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) Garage of the Year award.
Bosch master technician, Matthew Pestridge, workshop manager at D&D Autos, said: “It is surprising to see a brand like VW suffering an issue like this but, despite all the headlines, we have not had a single call about it. Owners who bought a VW because of their environmental performance will rightly be shocked, but most buy on comfort, reliability and badge.
“Vital details are also yet to emerge: How much is the emissions figure out by? What fix will VW go for – a software update or bolting something onto the exhaust system? Are any other manufacturers going to get dragged in? As to what this means for independent repairers like us, we will keep on doing the right things like running diagnostic health checks and using type approved parts, which we always do anyway. The Toyota accelerator pedal recall shows how these big news stories can go – a year later very few people mention it and used car values don’t seem to have been affected.”
ECP itself put forward the hope that the scandal would not undermine the achievements of auto parts manufacturers in reducing emissions. Martin Gray, chief executive officer (CEO) of Euro Car Parts, said: “Across all industries, consumers are increasingly well informed about discrepancies between ‘real world’ performance and lab test results. For instance, motorists have noticed that the miles per gallon (MPG) figure in their vehicle handbook often bears little resemblance to the amount of fuel burned on their daily commute. This VW software cheat is an extreme example. It is one thing to make a mistake but to deliberately set out to deceive right from the conceptual design phase takes it to a totally unacceptable level. It is a shame because it damages the perception of the automotive industry when actually there has been fantastic progress in reducing emissions.
“Fitting type approved parts is the only way to guarantee the quality standard and performance of the replacement part in line with manufacturers’ specifications. That’s why Euro Car Parts supplies only type approved exhausts and cats. We work hard to ensure all our emissions products are compliant with directive 70/157/EEC regarding noise, type approval Regulation 59 regarding replacement silencing systems, and type approval Regulation 103 regarding catalytic convertors and diesel particulate filters. From the consumers’ perspective, choosing properly approved replacement parts will mean lower pollution, higher MPG, less engine wear, longer vehicle life and a quieter environment both inside and outside the vehicle.”