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What is the update and who needs to pay attention?

The Volkswagen Audi Group (including VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT) emissions update is a software update applied by the dealerships to vehicles that did not meet the original emissions standards.

The original emissions standards were imposed by a European directive. However, these were not met and consequently vehicles left the manufacturers without being compliant with the directive. The emissions update is written to the ECU using diagnostics tools at the dealerships.

What’s the problem with the update?

Simply, the update re-flashes the vehicle with additional software, causing the engine to run in a different manner. This often results in the following issues.

  • The emissions update requires that software applied runs more EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve. This means the EGR valve is open for longer causing more hot exhaust gas to recirculate around the engine and into the intake manifold, which is normally plastic. 200 degree C temperatures on plastic is never a good thing.
  • There can be an increased buildup of carbon deposits on the EGR valve because it is open for longer. This can stop it working properly.
  • The update increases the injector pressures and the fuel rail pressures. As a result, the injectors are under too much stress for what they were designed to do. This can cause the injectors to fail.
  • Many vehicle owners have reported that their vehicle is slower and feels sluggish following the emissions update. The process makes the intake air less dense, with less oxygen in the intake air system. It also raises the intake air temperature, making the vehicle slower because there is less oxygen to burn inside the combustion chamber.
  • There can be a reduction in fuel economy. Some vehicle owners have reported dropping up to ten miles to the gallon.
  • Cold start and hot start problems can be experienced.
  • The vehicle parts discussed above can be fairly expensive to replace, causing additional and unexpected expense for the vehicle owner. Many vehicle owners have also commented that they do not feel that it is the same vehicle they purchased and are quite upset about this.

Anything else?

We understand, from vehicle owner feedback, that Volkswagen Audi Group are doing these updates during normal servicing. In many cases owners are not made aware that their vehicle has been, or will be updated at the dealership. Once the update is applied problems can occur almost immediately. Vehicle owners report that their vehicles are entering the dealerships running perfectly fine, but are almost undriveable within a few days of leaving. Often, where customers have gone back to their Volkswagen Audi Group dealership, they are informed of the update retrospectively and are often unhelpfully told that there is nothing the dealership can do to resolve issues caused by / associated with the update.

How can we resolve this for customers?

Here at SA Tuning we have the latest software and tools to roll back your emissions update to a previous version. Yes, that’s right! We can change the software on your vehicle back to what it was prior to your visit to VW Audi. Your vehicle can be just as it was when you purchased it.

What to do?

Get in touch. You can contact us, or call us on freephone number 0333 444 0136 if you would like any further information or advice. We’d love to hear from you and see how we can help.