It’s over a week ago since news broke that a ‘defeat device’ had been installed in nearly half a million Volkswagen Group diesel cars sold in the US, a piece of software that was able to manipulate emissions tests so that the cars appeared cleaner.

That’s how the story started but now we know that some diesel cars from the Volkswagen Group for the European market were fitted with the software too.

The story broke just a few days after the motor industry and press had assembled in Frankfurt for the biennial motor show where German car manufacturers, like the Volkswagen Group and their extensive portfolio of brands, like to put on a good show for the home crowd.

And then just as quickly as the buzz leaves the show at the end of the press days, the wind is taken out of the VW sails and the storm clouds gather over Wolfsburg, the home of VW in Germany.

Aside from news about a changing of the guard at the company, expressions of regret and pledges to deal with the issue of potentially millions of cars with emissions data that duped the authorities, details about which models sold in Europe from the VW Group’s brands and the years of construction affected have been scant.

And as such, the story hasn’t gone away and with every little trickle of information or comment it gets a bit more oxygen to keep running but with no real closure or definitive conclusion.

A crisis on such a scale isn’t solved overnight, and we can speculate but no one really knows how all this will pan out, but if there is to be a legacy, let’s hope it’s one of more honesty about how clean our cars really are.

Caroline Kidd