ADAC Tests VW Polo 1.2 TDI Dieselgate Fix

The 2.0 TDI is by far the most famous engine in the Dieselgate scandal. However, it's by no means the only one. If I remember correctly, Volkswagen was also supposed to recall 460,000 cars fitted with the 1.2-liter TDI engine, almost all of them in Europe.
ADAC Tests VW Polo 1.2 TDI Dieselgate Fix 5 photos
Photo: ADAC
ADAC Tests VW Polo Dieselgate FixADAC Tests VW Polo Dieselgate FixADAC Tests VW Polo Dieselgate FixADAC Tests VW Polo Dieselgate Fix
The point is that Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority, the KBA has approved the 1.2 TDI fix and it's happening all over Europe.

ADAC, an independent organization, backed by 20 million club members, subjected the Polo 1.2 TDI to the NEDC test cycle. The result? No more defeat device, but the emissions of NOx and CO2 weren't drastically cut.

However, ADAC found that before the update, the Polo was off by 10.2 percent regarding CO2 and 9.6 percent for fuel consumption. Remember, this is the NEDC, not a real world test, and the differences should be 0%. So it's a clear abnormality even without any connection to the Dieselgate scandal.

After the software update, ADAC subjected the car to several NOx tests and found that emissions could be lower by up to 22.9%. Fuel consumption, meanwhile, did go up, but only by between 0.5 to 2.7 percent.

All in all, the results suggest that the VW conversion can provide environmental benefits for the 1.2 TDI 3-cylinder diesel engine under real driving conditions, while the consumption and engine performance are hardly affected by the conversion. The VW Polo 1.2 TDI was tested with a manual 5-speed shift, and the same kind of powertrain can be seen on the affected Skoda Fabia and SEAT Ibiza models.

Not all the 1.2 TDI engines in the world are faulty, just the ones belonging to the EA189 family. Generally speaking, if you have a relatively recent Polo, Fabia or Ibiza and it says Euro 5 on it, it's got to go and be fixed. Owners are to be contacted via letter, instructing them to take their to a local dealer for a software update at no charge.

While the 2.0 TDI requires a special component that smooths out the flow of the air, the 1.2 TDI just gets new software. It's probably not the end of the Dieselgate recalls, as independent tests have discovered cheating software in modern Audis that are being built to this day.

At the end of the day, as long as there are no downsides, most customers should be happy with the outcome.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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