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A third of VW Group cars with ‘defeat devices’ still not fixed

A third of the 1.2 million vehicles affected by the Volkswagen Group emissions scandal have yet to be fixed, more than two years on from the discovery of the scandal.

The chair of the Environmental Audit Committee Mary Creagh has written to John Hayes, Minister of State at the Department for Transport (DfT), to express the committee’s concerns around the lack of progress of applying fixes to cars equipped with ‘defeat devices’.

Figures from the Department for Transport obtained by the chair show that as of September 2017, around two thirds of affected vehicles had been fixed, but that the rate of fixes had declined from a high of 10% of affected cars per month in February 2017 to 2% of affected cars per month (except Skoda).

The rates of fixes to Skoda vehicles rose rapidly in July and August to roughly double that of other brands owned by Volkswagen - an anomaly questioned by the chair in her letter. 

Hayes has previously stated that the DfT has regular update meetings with Volkswagen to ensure that good progress is being made and Creagh has questioned how the DfT and VW intend to reach customers who are not having their vehicles fixed and do not respond to communication.

She also wants to know what action is being taken to challenge the perception among some drivers that the fixes will impact performance, although the boss of Volkswagen Group UK has already stated the fix will not affect fuel economy.

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 spokesman for Volkswagen said that of the vehicles affected, 810,134 “technical measures” have been implemented (as of November 4, 2017) and pointed out the fixes are “voluntary” 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,” he said.

“We are committed to apply the technical measure to as many vehicles as possible but it should be recognised that some vehicles will have been scrapped or stolen, some written off, some exported and some owners may decline or never respond. The campaign will remain open for the foreseeable future.”

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  • Sage & Onion - 09/11/2017 15:46

    Is this because a lot of drivers will have had their engines remapped and are afraid of losing these settings in the recall modifications? I have heard that this does happen during the recall and VAG/Dealers will not correct it when the customer complains. Some drivers are therefore left feeling cheated twice by VAG. This isn't good when VAG should be earning customers trust back.

  • Mr.Bean - 09/11/2017 15:53

    There is a number of owners who wont have their cars fixed due to some negative feedback on side effects after having it done. We have a VW at home which wasn't performing well on 1st and 2nd gears after the fix, a quick remap and problem solved.

  • The Engineer - 09/11/2017 18:06

    I suspect its because some car magazines own tests have shown the 'fix' to result in poorer performance and fuel economy - of course it does. If VW could have made the engines perform properly they wouldn't have needed to cheat in the first place. I certainly wouldn't let them bodge my car if I had a VW (VW deny there is any downside to the fix of course, why should we believe them any more?)

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