One in three motorists has lost trust in the car industry

The Volkswagen emissions testing scandal has contributed to many people losing faith in the motor in

The Volkswagen emissions testing scandal has contributed to many people losing faith in the motor industry. - Credit: PA

More than a third of motorists have lost faith in the car industry in the wake of last year's emissions scandal.

The RAC surveyed 1,714 British motorists and found that 35% have lost trust in the automotive sector over the past 12 months.

The news comes almost exactly a year after it was revealed that the Volkswagen Group had been fitting 'defeat devices' on certain diesel-engined vehicles. These devices could detect an emissions test and would lower the engine's emissions in order to meet legal standards.

Despite the sizeable proportion of motorists who had less trust in the industry, just nine per cent of those questioned said they had lost faith in their vehicle's manufacturer. In comparison, 26% felt they had more trust in their manufacturer than they did a year ago.

Unsurprisingly, Volkswagen owners were far more likely to have lost trust in their car maker, with 29% claiming to trust the German brand less than they did before the scandal.

Of those who had lost trust in their manufacturer, 43% claimed that their lack of trust was because they no longer believed the company's emissions claims, while 25% said they thought the fuel efficiency claims were not credible.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: 'Aside from the emissions revelations of 2015, there has been a number of other high-profile incidents in the last 12 months affecting motor manufacturers, all of which have had the potential to knock motorists' confidence in the industry. This explains why more than a third of drivers surveyed for this year's RAC Report on Motoring say their trust has fallen.

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'But it is the way that each individual manufacturer handles a negative incident which is the key – those that communicate with their customers well have an opportunity to not just reassure, but to also boost motorists' faith in their brands. When it comes to trust, it is the way a manufacturer deals with what has gone wrong that is the most important factor.'

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