Does my Audi need corrective work?

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Q. Like many other owners of Audi diesel cars, I have been told to bring in my vehicle for corrective work. I don’t really want my car fiddled with — what is my position if I don’t want to participate? KL, Biddenden, Kent

A. Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group, and Audi cars equipped with four-cylinder EA189 TDI engines have been caught up in the VW emissions scandal, in which engines were rigged to make them perform better in emissions tests — particularly tests for nitrogen oxides — giving a false impression of real-world performance.

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Audi is contacting all owners of models with this engine, inviting them to submit their cars for corrective work. This will be free and “structured to keep any inconvenience to customers to an absolute minimum”, according to the car maker. The work can be carried out during routine servicing.

Audi is legally obliged to offer a fix, but owners are not legally obliged to have the work done. The company assured us that “all affected vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy” without the update, and that “with the implementation of the technical measures, it is our goal that neither the fuel consumption figures, nor the performance data, nor the CO2 emissions change”.

We also spoke to an expert at AA Insurance, who said that there should be no insurance implications, whether you decide to have the work done or not. If you don’t have the work done, however, the car’s resale value may be adversely affected and you will be driving in the knowledge that your car is emitting higher levels of toxic fumes than it should be.

Sunday Times Driving Car Clinic: Emma Smith, consumer advice

Emma Smith is a journalist specialising in consumer issues and is a regular Driving contributor – read more from Emma here.


Email your question to or write to Car Clinic, Driving, The Sunday Times, 1 London Bridge Street, London, SE1 9GF, with a daytime phone number, your address and as much detail about your car as possible. We can’t reply in person, so don’t send original documents or SAEs. Advice is given without legal responsibility.