It never rains but it pours … and Jaguar Land Rover must be breaking out their Sou’westers right about now; in January of this year, they announced 4,500 jobs were to go, the following month they posted record quarterly losses and more recently, it’s been found that a number of their vehicles don’t comply with stated emissions.

44,000 vehicles, all using the 2.0 litre engine (both petrol and diesel) have been found to be producing a higher level of carbon dioxide (CO2) than certified through the Vehicle Certification Agency, but this isn’t a new Volkswagen-style scandal, it was JLR themselves that found the problem and reported it.

Change in overall vehicle experience

Currently, the Jaguar Land Rover engineers are working on a fix, but it’s not straightforward – some models will need a software update and reprogram, other models will need mechanical work to help them comply, and it’s thought that some Range Rover Evoque models will also need new tyres.

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman said “Vehicles are being rectified to ensure that the correct CO2 performance is dependably achieved. All modifications will be free of charge, and every effort will be made to minimise the inconvenience to our customers”.

However, there’s a final line missing from that quote, and it’s perhaps the most important; “Some owners may experience minor changes in the overall vehicle experience”.

Diesel-gate with Volkswagen

Of course, we’re all too familiar with the Volkswagen scandal; it’s perhaps this very issue that has highlighted car manufacturers “interpretation” of vehicle emissions and compliance, but what hasn’t been quite so widely publicised is the effects of the ‘fix’.

Around 41,000 UK Volkswagen owners are part of a class action against the manufacturer, claiming that the emissions fix has severely affected their car – starting difficulties, loss of power, weak acceleration, poor fuel consumption and mysterious rattles have all been noted since the fix. Could this be part of the “change in overall vehicle experience” that Jaguar Land Rover is hinting at?

Any automotive engineer with an understanding of fuelling will tell you that changing the fuelling will, of course, change how the vehicle behaves. The fact that diesel Volkswagens were so powerful compared to the competition obviously came at a price – that they couldn’t comply with legislation, and when they were de-tuned to comply, it created a different driving experience.

The JLR problem

Until it’s known just how serious the problem is, it’s hard to gauge the effect of any fix to the fuelling strategy may have.

We do know that JLR didn’t set out to cheat the Vehicle Certification Agency, it was through their own routine testing that they found a problem, so mechanically, the engines are designed to deliver an expected output with a set amount of fuel. This means that they haven’t been designed & engineered as higher performance engines.

This (in theory), should mean that minor changes are possible with a ‘re-map’ without having too much a detrimental effect on performance or general running. We also know that JLR has said that some affected models may need mechanical work – the assumption being that these have been engineered to deliver slightly higher performance levels, so in this case, it’s entirely possible that an owner would have a very different experience.

The models affected are all manufactured between 2016 – 2019, that use the 2.0 petrol and diesel engine, and include some models of the 2016 – 18 Land Rover Discovery & Discovery Sport, a number of the Range Rover Evoque, Sport and Velar and the Jaguar E-PACE, F-PACE, F-TYPE, XE and XF.

Legal obligation

If you think that your car may be one of the models affected, your local dealership will be in touch to confirm the recall, you don’t need to do anything right now. We’d also point out that until a specified fix has been issued, and the results are known, it may be worth waiting to see how other customers find the repair, should you find yourself on the wrong end of a poorly running car.

We’d expect the situation to be the same as the Volkswagen emissions repairs, with no legal obligation to have your car repaired. It’s possible that you’re entirely satisfied with how your vehicle runs in its current state, in which case, you may just be better off leaving it.

If you have any concerns regarding the fix, your vehicle or the regulations that it may be breaking, you can contact Jaguar Land Rover customer services on the following numbers:
Jaguar 0345 303 2303
Land Rover 0370 5000 500

Do you believe that JLR have acted fairly? Is this just another case of a manufacturer ‘playing the game’? Let us know in the comments.

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