VAG 2.0TDI Emissions 'Fix' Reduces Torque at Low RPM

Published 12 July 2016
A report received today from RD of East Sussex suggests that the VAG 2.0TDI Emissions Fix cuts the fuelling and thereby reduces torque at low engine revs.
RD's EA189 engined 2014 Tiguan 2.0TDI 140 DSG recently had the (recall) software upgrade. He was told this incorporated an "enhanced fuel injection pattern". Whilst his engine performs well and accelerates smoothly, it has developed a significant "clatter" under load at speeds up to 40mph /1600rpm, even after
operating at full temperature for many miles.
This suggests to us that, to achieve lower NOx levels, the fuelling has been reduced at low engine rpm, thus also reducing the torque.
SD's dealer responded promptly when he queried this and has since been in touch to say that VW will be supplying  a software "patch" for the problem.
In fairness, so far, we have only received one other report of problems with VAG 189 TDI engines subsequent to the software fix.


   on 15 July 2016

I have exactly the same problem with my Tiguan since the software recall. My local vw dealer has not yet told me of a patch to solve it.

skippy41    on 17 July 2016

Had my Skoda superb done last week and it feels like you need to give it more throttle when driving slowly, as it feels like it wants to stall in 3rd

co2blues    on 19 September 2016

Have you returned your Skoda to the dealer ? Have they now come up with a proper remedy ?

co2blues    on 19 September 2016

Has your "fix" been carried out now ? And has ot been without problems ?

alex xela    on 11 October 2016

Same with my Polo 1.2 Tdi, Feels less lively and that you need to put your foot down more for same acceleration. Therefore I presume it will use more fuel in acceleration. Computer now advising me to change up a gear significantly sooner. On my last journey was idling faster and running a little unevenly. Concerned and unhappy. The letter stated that the software recall was an "upgrade". Yeah right....

ukoracle    on 12 October 2016

Following the emissions 'fix', I had same 'clatter' issue and reduced power at low revs on my 2 year old Tiguan. Local VW dealership confirmed that that had been a few complaints about what they called 'pinking' and that Tiguan's needed to be re-done with revised engine mapping to get around the problem, just had this done, and does seemed to have worked. Begs the question though that if VW knew there was a problem with the original fix for Tiguan's, and so produced a new mapping then why did they not recall them again. I'm really not impressed as I was also getting increased fuel consumption (too early to say if 2nd fix has solved this), my car has depreciated more in 1 year than 2 years for my last Tiguan, and yet VW position is that no compensation should be paid to UK owners as we haven't experienced any loss..............!

BYD    on 29 October 2016

How are they expected to reduce emissions if they don't reduce the fuelling? I don't want my Audi Ea189 engine messed about with. It runs just fine as it is. About 20% down on official mpg, but nice to drive. So I want it as it is. I read that an MOT tester says the defeat devise is to limit rpm on testing. That would make sense and I can confirm my car can not rev in neutral higher than about 2600. Which is just fine with me. I always cringed when they rev the hell out of a previous diesel engine car during the yearly mot to try and smoke it. If it ain't broke, why have them messed with. If your worried about the green credentials of using the fuel, keep the car longer and save the planet that way. My classic Merc is 36 years old, and runs just fine with an additive. Its the manufacturing and always renewing everything thats harming the planet. Why can't we just fix things anymore? The dealers can't fix cars properly anymore, only service parts? All to expensive and uneconomical for the profit margin. Why the new new mentality of unnecessary consumerism?

Chris30    on 31 October 2016

Hi BYD; I just had the same situation as you have, my Audi A3 with EA 189 Diesel engine is also affected; just like what you mentioned on your comment I'm happy with my car as it is without having the software upgraded! Just want to ask if there's any law we are breaking if we don't want our car being messed about? What's the catch for not having our car software mended? Are we breaking any laws? Hope you can shed some ideas on my dilemma! many thanks in advance!!!

BYD    on 10 December 2016

Far as I know? No one is making me take it into a dealer to have work done just so they can make a claim from Audi for the work done. Latest letter portrays it coming from the DVLA? If its of any help to anyone who has had the upgrade? You can get any ECu superchipped which apparently gives more power, better fuel economy and an array of benefits to modern vehicles? I would question every, and limit it to engines that squeeze more out of less. Thereby being able to benefit from higher octane fuels as well. Latests modern engines are over engineered as to designed parts, I lament the £6 PCV. Now a plastic cover with a valve in it at £90+. I just love plastic engine covers and cam belts that involve removing the whole front end of a car, next step will be remove the bonnet access completrly. I'm now back doing my own bits of servicing, to keep it away from the dealers Tec aprentice clutches. Forgot I actually enjoyed fixing my car.

Chrys123    on 5 November 2016

Had my late 2011 2ltr dsg golf software upgraded two weeks ago after dealer assurances it would not affect the driving at all and only one or two customers had complained. The result is a car that was almost perfect being changed beyond belief. All the issues mentioned in earlier posts. Vibration and rattling at under 1500 revs. VW have ruined my car! Until upgraded I would have recommended a golf to anyone. Not any more. VW have destroyed my confidence in them. Car going back in the hope they can fix but not very hopeful.

Chrys123    on 12 November 2016

A visit to the dealer has reduced the vibrations I reported in last post and persuades me to give the fix another chance.
As well as implementing the fix and servicing the car the timeing belt was replaced and it seems that the setting wasn't right. So maybe this was the cause of my problems. Time will tell, but much happier!

Chrys123    on 4 December 2016

Initial reaction misplaced. The vibrations may have reduced but still noticeable but the rattle is worse, a quiet car sounds like a clapped out van at 1500 or so revs. Can't complain about noise and performance on motorways but noticed fuel consumption down. All in all this is not the engine it was before the upgrade. Very disappointed with VW.

   on 20 November 2016

My 2011 VW Golf 2.0 diesel proved very reliable until ten days ago when the software emissions update was carried out at the main dealer. Following this, I drove from home to Norfolk (350 miles) and on the return leg a few days later two warning lights came on. The breakdown company technician advised this could be due to the EGR valve so the car was recovered to my home. Next day i contacted the VW dealer who said this could not be due to the software upgrade and suggested replacing the EGR valve. I had this work done by my trusted small local garage (£600) who said it was not possible to prove if the breakdown was or was not caused by the software upgrade since this failure is fairly common in diesels. I would have left it there but for two things. First, I understand EGR failures are prevalent in cars used on short trips as this allows carbon deposits to build up in the valve. My car is almost entirely used for long journeys. Secondly, when my local garage rang the VW main dealer to order the parts, they remarked such replacement valves were in unusually high demand. All of this leaves me suspicious that my previously reliable car had been adversely effected by the software update. Have others had the same experience?

HonestRobert    on 30 November 2016

Yes, same happened to me. Car VW Tiguan 2.0 TDi 4Motion has been perfectly reliable since new. Regularly serviced at all the correct levels & intervals. Goes into same VW dealership for 'fix', less than a week later engine warning light on.

Still waiting for VW garage to get back to me, but once they do, will keep you updated.

jim grassick    on 21 December 2016

I am refusing to have the fix done. As it is only a software upgrade (unlike U.S. where a new catalytic converter was fitted as well), they are playing around with the amount of fuel going into the engine (reducing it means less NOX) and the number of times the EGR valve is being asked to operate. The valve either lets the exhaust gases go straight from the engine to the exhaust or recirculates the gases back into the engine for reburning. The more the EGR valve recirculates, the less NOX goes into (and out of) the exhaust. But it also means that when in recirculation mode, less diesel is added.
The above results in less power. It also means that at low revs very little diesel will be delivered, resulting in the pinking. With less power the tendency will be to drive with the foot down on the accelerator much more to counter this, resulting in higher fuel consumption. The VW EGR valve has a tendency to hold the chemicals inside. This is caused by the stop start system operating too readily in town, thus not allowing the temperature to get high enough, for long enough, to burn off the accumulated soot.The fix may well have reduced the stop/start from functioning as often, to reach a higher temperature. having already had to replace the EGR valve last year in another VW, I now take the car out onto the motorway once a month for a one hour spin in 4th gear to keep the EGR valve reasonably clean.
I was advised that VW changed the design of the valve to make it more durable, but as the fix is going to see it used much more, my guess is that it will fail.
So not only is VW not compensating owners, but the fix is likely to result in a repair costing owners £1000.

   on 6 January 2017

Exactly the same issue after the fix on my 2012 Tiguan 2.0 bluemotion. Clearly less power below 2000 rpm. First person that tested the car in the dealer also recognised the issue. Then a manager was called to check and from the manager we only get "lawyer" talk that the car is correct, the fix is certified and has no impacts, etc, etc.

This change is quite bad, because this way the engine needs to often change gear when driving in the motorway.

I am really disappointed and angry with VW. If they could not find a technical fix they should admit instead of making a change that damages their customer cars.

Keith Mapp    on 7 January 2017

On the subject of EGR systems - a few years ago my 9 year old Vectra suffered serious power loss, with the turbo not working when needed. Looking on the internet I could see that many people had suffered the same and been charged large amounts of money by main dealers for fixes that did not work. I tackled the problem myself, looking first at the EGR system, which I found was very badly choked with soot. I cleaned it all out, including taking the solenoid apart, cleaning and re-greasing it. The result was absolutely stunning - the performance was restored to as-new condition and the fuel consumption was improved. It seems that cleaning of the EGR system - vital on diesels that are not doing regular long journeys - is not on the service schedule.
This all ties in with what has been said about the way the VW software fix works, and the effect it is likely to have on the engine. I now have a Skoda Yeti 2.0 litre TDI and do not feel at all inclined to take it in for its "fix" as I am not convinced by what VW say about the fix not affecting anything. If that was the case, why did they need the "cheat" in the first place?

Beefyox    on 22 January 2017

KM and others have highlighted EGR issues which will get worse after having the 'fix'. The Official letter I got (eventually) from SEAT confirms in writing that as well as changing the injection pattern the upgrade 'also increases the EGR rate'. I have already had to have the EGR/inlet manifold system cleaned out (under warranty) but have not received a reply to my question whether VAG will repair further EGR problems after the 'fix'. The technician did say that EGR clogging is not necessarily a result of driving style or short runs, so who are we supposed to believe? Whilst the letters say the 'fix' doesn't affect performance or consumption they refuse to show me before & after data, and they don't mention reliability!
And yes KM I also asked 'why did VAG need to cheat if the fix was a software change. Their answer? We don't acknowledge we have cheated as you claim!

Clive Bradshaw    on 4 February 2017

Anyone thinking of getting the EA189 emission recall on their 2.0 tdi Tiguan, DON'T. I had mine carried out on my 2011 Match model in December 2016 and ever since has been down in power and 10mpg in reduced fuel consumption. Rang local dealer who states that they can't reverse the software. VW UK just wash there hands and don't want to know. I'm taking mine to an independent repairer to get the software reversed at a cost of £180. Wonder will VW pick up the bill! Don't think so

Edited by Clive Bradshaw on 04/02/2017 at 15:41

Frazer Radford    on 12 April 2017

As an EX-VW Service manager i agree DONT have it done. i had the discussion with VW head office regarding reversing the software. it is not a matter it cannot be done. but more of VW dont want it done. they will tell you it would be illegal to do it, but the reality is it is your car and the original mapping is your property. so a good lawyer could possibly get you the map file from VW, but the cost would be more than a good remap from a third party mapper.

the reduction in power is caused by the new software as it does not allow a complete combustion cycle and this is reducing the NOX emissions. but as a result it is increasing the CO2 output. and this is why the egr valves are starting to fail followed by the DPF filter.

my advice would be for anyone who is unfortunate to have had the fix done, either have a remap or email vw customer service DAILY. if you have time call them (you will be on hold for hours) or write to them. keep up the pestering... there was a piece in the daily mail a couple of weeks ago reporting over 64000 owners having problems since the recall, and this number will grow



Clive Bradshaw    on 25 April 2017

Further to previous report, i have had a remap carried out. My beloved Tiguan has regained its life again. Many thanks to the independent Repairer that carried it out. Will VW pick up the tab, I dont think so

Edited by Clive Bradshaw on 25/04/2017 at 17:41

Rich kilborn    on 13 May 2017

I have a tiguan 2tdi bluemotion and just had a economy remap fuel consumption is better than it was pre fix power is better ,but the regeneration cycle is the same every 150miles 300miles before the vw update , my worry is that its still producing twice as much soot as before the update so egr and dpf won't last very long.

indymorg    on 16 April 2017

i have a 59. VW CC GT 140 bhp 2.0L i loved the cars performance before i had the upgrade done now its half the car it was around town you dont notice anything except pinking more but hit the open road start overtaking on high revs there is nothing there it feels as though it was 90 bhp now and on the motorway at a steady 70 you can literally watch the fuel gauge dropping, i am not exaggerating.

   on 22 April 2017

Wish i knew about the problems two weeks ago. Had my car MOT'd and serviced. Then had my SEAT Altea 1.6 desiel in for the NOX emissions recall. A week later going up a mild incline the engine cut out, loss of all power, power stearing, etc. Dropped clutch, display said to manually restart but it wouldn't start again... at all. Had RAC outu who managed to get it going but they found not reason or cause. No fault code on computer. Since recall the engine 'clatters' and if the engine is going to cut out its not safe.

VoodooRit    on 4 May 2017

I have a 2010 Audi A6 2.0 and had the emissions update done recently. Significantly less 'grunt' in the low end and currently going through the motions with my dealer. My dealer did concede that they are aware of increased 'regeneration' for about 1000 miles after the update although they do not know what the update does. In fact it feels like they are distancing themselves from it as much as possible! I am particularly concerned that my dealer cannot reverse the update, Audi wont let them apparently. I was under the impression the update simply disabled the 'cheat' which observed specific test patterns but it appears it is a completely different 'map' that is not good for the car at all. Is VAG hiding another dirty little secret per chance!?

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