Of the 17,000 respondents to the survey, which was compiled by specialist law firm Slater and Gordon, 11,600 said that their car had received the new software, and 40% of those said that it had negatively affected their car.
The most common (18%) issue was a reduction in fuel economy, followed by poor running (11% claimed their car juddered), while a small portion (2%) said they suffered complete engine failures or dangerous limp mode activation while driving on the motorway.
This latter scenario was described by more than 1200 respondents, one of whom said their car slowed to 10mph while travelling in the outside lane of the motorway due to the error.
“When you stop and think about what could have happened, it’s really scary,” said one respondent. “It’s unbelievable that Volkswagen thinks it can get away with putting people’s lives at risk.”
Slater and Gordon has compiled the survey in the run-up to a group litigation hearing in which it will represent more than 40,000 affected car owners in a legal case against Volkswagen. It's thought that this will be the largest case of its type in the legal history of England and Wales.
The Volkswagen Group has hit back stating that the survey was compiled to encourage more people to "sign up to the court case". It said in an official statement that it does "not believe such surveys have been reliable or representative of the experience of owners of affected vehicles in the UK or elsewhere in Europe".