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Class action

Vw-Group - Dieselgate

26 gen 2018

Reported car owner experiences with their car software update.

Survey objectives & methodology

Main goal of the survey: collecting car owner experiences related to the diesel emissions scandal within VW-Group vehicles (also known as dieselgate) in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain. For that purpose, an online questionnaire has been elaborated, allowing affected car owners transmitting their personal experiences and perceptions:

- already done the software update (if not, why);

- noticed any car characteristics changes after the update (if yes, which changes);

- perceived need for some car repair due to the software update (and related covered and non-covered expenses of such repair);

- VW-Group attitude and handling of customers dieselgate complaints.


The field work occurred between 9th and 24th of November 2017. Questionnaire invitations have been sent to identified affected VW-Group car owners who registered a Euroconsumers consumer defense action in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

10 584 valid questionnaires have been considered for the analyses: Belgium = 2952; Italy = 3849; Portugal = 1859; Spain = 1924.

Valid response


Survey results

In Belgium, Italy and Portugal, most of VW Group car owners already did the software update. In Spain, most of them have no intention to do so.


In all countries, main reasons for not doing the update are: 1. being afraid that it will affect the car performance, 2. being advised for not doing so.

Within respondents who already had their car software updated, almost half noticed changes in the car characteristics due to it.

Most commonly noticed changes after the software update are: 1. fuel consumption increase, 2. loss of engine power, 3. engine running less smoothly. Almost all of these problems occurred within one month after the update took place.

13% of respondents who already updated the software had a repair done on their car due to it.
Another 10% finds it necessary, although not having done it (yet).

Most common car repairs due to the software update relate to: 1. the EGR valve, 2. the fuel injectors, 3. the diesel particulate filter. Some affected car owners even reactivated (or tried to reactivate) the trickery software after it was updated by the VW-Group.

Within respondents feeling the need for a car repair due to the software update, 64 % of Portuguese took contact with the brand to complain about that. The same happened with 37% of Spaniards, 30% of Belgians, and 17% of Italians. Only a minority saw the repair being fully paid by the brand (although even then, the brand not always assuming responsibility for the problem). However, most of respondents having done a car repair related to the software update had to pay for it.