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VW blames customers for dirty diesels still on the road

AOL Cars UK logo AOL Cars UK 09/11/2017 Staff writer

© Gareth Fuller/Press Association Images

After recent reports found that approximately a third of Volkswagen Group diesel cars fitted with emissions-cheating devices have not been fixed, VW has hit out at customers for not addressing the issue.

The brand, which fitted so-called defeat devices onto its diesel cars to artificially lower harmful emissions, said it was the responsibility of customers to have their vehicle updated under the terms of the voluntary recall.

Volkswagen says that the 374,000 vehicle owners who had not yet complied had received at least two requests to take their vehicle to a dealer, where a software update will bring nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions down to a legal level.

Related: VW Brands CEO - 'It'll take years to recover from emissions scandal' (CNBC)

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The upgrade alters software in the engine, and VW claims that it reduces NOx emissions by up to 30 per cent. However, some owners have reported a drop in performance and failure of emissions control systems since the upgrade, which could be leading others to avoid the update.

Volkswagen said that "the overwhelming majority of our customers have been fully satisfied", with 810,000 vehicles having been fixed so far. But it continued, saying: "the service action remains voluntary and we are aware that some customers have actively declined the implementation of the technical measures."

Greenpeace volunteer seizing a cargo ship carrying thousands of VW diesel cars © Kristian Buus/Greenpeace/Press Association Images Greenpeace volunteer seizing a cargo ship carrying thousands of VW diesel cars

The brand has already said it will look 'sympathetically' on failures of emissions controls systems after the upgrade, with problems involving items such as the exhaust gas re-circulation valve usually fixed free of charge.

Mel Evans, clean air campaigner for environmental charity Greenpeace, told The Times: "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 the only redress on offer to the public here."

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Related: Dirty diesels - Most polluting cars revealed (Motoring Research)

The worst diesel cars for air pollution: Diesel emissions testing carried out by Which? has revealed the worst diesel cars for air pollution. The figures highlight a huge variation across the industry, with the worst offenders emitting up to nine times the level of dangerous pollutants permitted in official tests. Read on to discover more about the dirtiest diesels and how Which? conducted the tests. Dirty diesels: most polluting cars revealed
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