Wednesday 8 November 2017 00.29 GMT
A third of cars manufactured by Volkswagen with devices to cheat emissions tests remain unfixed, two years after the scandal erupted.
In what was coined the “diesel dupe”, VW equipped their vehicles with defeat devices designed to realise when they were being tested so they could appear to be much less polluting than in reality.
The company subsequently pledged to recall all of its cars and remove the devices.
However, the monthly rate of fixes to Volkswagen manufactured cars has fallen to 2% of those affected from a previous high of 10% in February, despite the task not having been completed, according to the Department of Transport.
The emissions scandal affected 1,207,152 vehicles in the UK and while two-thirds of the cars have been fixed, the rate of fixes to the remainder has stalled.
An analysis showed the fix-rate of Skoda’s spiked between July and August to around double that of other Volkswagen brands, an anomaly queried by Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield and chair of the environmental audit committee.
The fix-rates for other brands has faltered.
Creagh has written to the Department for Transport to express the committee’s concerns about the lack of progress in applying fixes to cars equipped with the defeat devices.
“It is over two years since the VW emissions scandal was discovered, a third of vehicles have yet to be fixed and rates have slowed considerably,” said Creagh.
“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 Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “The UK government continues to take the unacceptable actions of Volkswagen extremely seriously and is working hard on behalf of UK consumers.”
“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.”
Volkswagen UK managing director Paul Willis told the Commons transport select committee in February that the firm hoped to have completed the fixing programme by autumn of this year.
Greenpeace clean air campaigner Mel Evans said: “Time and again VW has dodged its responsibility.
“It’s paid no fines, or faced criminal charges in the UK as it has in the US.
“Now it won’t even meet its own timeline for a product recall of its dodgy diesels, which is currently the only redress on offer to the public here.”
The report comes the day after it was announced the UK government is being sued for a third time over the widespread illegal levels of air pollution, which cause 40,000 early deaths every year.
Nitrogen dioxide pollution, largely produced by diesel vehicles, has been unlawfully high in most of urban Britain since 2010.
The government’s latest plan was derided as “woefully inadequate” by city leaders and “inexcusable” by doctors.
Volkswagen manufacture cars for the Audi, Skoda, SEAT and VW brands, all of which were affected by the scandal that affected 11m cars worldwide.
The hidden damage from VW vehicles fitted with the devices amounted to between 250,000 to 1m extra tonnes every year, according to one analysis.
This could equate to all of the UK’s NOx emissions from all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture.