PDO bind_ (functions) and special characters

I found a rather frustrating issue with using PDO bind_ functions on values that contain special characters. Whenever characters such as é ë è are used bind_ will convert them to other strange characters.

At first I thought this was an issue with MySQL’s coalition settings, but this turned out to be false. The issue is in fact with the PDO bind_ functions as I tried a number of different encoding types in MySQL with no success. Manually running inserts from shell produced the desired effect, i.e. the values are correctly inserted into the database.

Does anyone have an idea as to how to overcome this issue, as these characters are often used in the names and correspondence of our typical clients.