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DfT urged to take action on VW emissions fix backlog

The Department for Transport and Volkswagen are being urged to take action as new figures show a third of Volkswagen cars with so-called ‘defeat devices’ remain unfixed two years after its use of the devices was revealed.

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Around two-thirds of the vehicles affected by VW’s use of ‘defeat devices’ have undergone technical fixes to date.

Although the carmaker has pledged to carry out technical fixes on all 1.1 million cars affected in the UK, DfT figures published by the Environmental Audit Committee show the number of fixes to Volkswagen-manufactured cars has slowed to 2% of the affected cars each month from a previous high of 10% in February. To date, Volkswagen has implemented technical measures in 810,134 vehicles.

In response, Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, has written to Transport Minister John Hayes urging for an update on how the DfT is working with the carmaker to target drivers not responding to communications, in particular responding to driver concerns over how the work could impact vehicle performance. Previous reports had suggested drivers were concerned over post-fix problems with their vehicles including reduced fuel efficiency and reduced power and acceleration – although VW has already taken action to improve driver confidence in the fixes.

In her letter to the Transport Minister, Mary Creagh said: “It is essential that the vehicles on Britain’s roads adhere to emissions regulations, particularly as the country is faced with dangerous levels of pollution. The department must take responsibility for ensuring that these fixes are completed as soon as possible.”

A DfT spokesperson said the government was working hard on behalf of UK consumers, adding: “Officials in the Department for Transport hold monthly meetings with representatives from Volkswagen for information on the number of updates applied across all of the affected brands and to press them on remaining issues.”

A Volkswagen spokesperson commented: “The campaign is a voluntary service action rather than a safety recall. As is always the case in such campaigns, it commences slowly then rises steeply and the response rate falls as time progresses. The campaign will remain open for the foreseeable future but the 100% point can never be reached for the following reasons: some vehicles will have been scrapped, some written off, some exported and some owners decline or never respond.”For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.