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Dieselgate could continue into 2016

PUBLISHED: 17:15 04 January 2016

Volkswagen is looking to rebuild it brand reputation after the emissions scandals.

Volkswagen is looking to rebuild it brand reputation after the emissions scandals.

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The diesel emissions scandal has dominated the motor industry in recent months and motoring experts believe the negative headlines to continue this year.

Volkswagen admitted fitting software to cheat emissions tests for nitrogen oxides in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, including almost 1.2 million in the UK.

No other manufacturers have made a similar confession, but Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler believes there could be more revelations in 2016.

“The eyes are on the industry and there are all sorts of rumours flying around about other forms of defeat devices that are in use,” he said. “If anybody has anything to hide they’ll want to get it out quickly and be done with it rather than let it drag on.”

Around 508,000 VW cars, 393,000 Audis, 132,000 Skodas, 80,000 VW commercial vehicles and 77,000 SEATs in the UK are affected by the scandal.

Mr Fowler warned that the scale of the recall to carry out remedial work this year would lead to further accusations of wrongdoing.

“For Volkswagen things will rumble on, not least because the big problem of getting so many cars through dealers will happen and that undoubtedly is going to leave some people a little bit dissatisfied with the process. It’s going to be one hell of a task.”

VW car sales fell by 20% in November compared to the same month in 2014, and Mr Fowler predicted 2016 was “going to be tough”.

“I think they will have to market their cars very strongly and they’ll have to be doing offers, which is most un-Volkswagen like.”

Volkswagen has set aside 6.7 billion euro (£5bn) to deal with the controversy, leading Dr Mark Johnson, an associate professor at Warwick Business School, to suspect that the company will sell off some of its luxury brands such as Lamborghini and Bentley.

He said: “They don’t make much if any money so that might be a potential opportunity for Volkswagen to raise the kind of money that is expected to pay the fines being talked about.”

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A 51-year-old benefit cheat who was overpaid £26,000 has been sentenced to a six month supervision order.

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