Only one in four of the highly polluting cars caught in the 2015 Dieselgate emissions scandal has been recalled, new data has shown.
The data, produced by the EU and analysed by sustainable transport NGO the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), indicates that of the 43 million cars affected by Dieselgate – which saw cars fitted with ‘defeat devices’ allowing them to pass emissions tests, while producing higher levels of emissions once on real roads – only 10 million have been recalled for the software update necessary to render them roadworthy. T&E noted that at the current rate of recalls, it would take two more years to recall and update the remaining vehicles.
While 83% of cars produced by the Volkswagen Group have been recalled in Western Europe, the number drops to 55% in Central and Eastern Europe; and countries with a high rate of recall have taken to shipping ‘unfixed’ high emission vehicles to less strict regions as municipal bans on highly polluting cars take effect: T&E highlighted the fact that Germany exported 350,000 unfixed second hand cars to Poland in 2017.
Florent Grelier, clean vehicles engineer at T&E, said: “The current snail’s pace to clean up diesel cars across Europe is unacceptable. The industry has had four years since the diesel scandal broke but has failed to deliver even on its own commitments to fix manipulated cars. It’s time for governments to get tough and order mandatory recalls across the EU. This does not require any new laws but just political will. The EU Single Market fails when it comes to emissions of cars. It only works for selling cars, but not for recalling them when things go wrong. There must not be any second class citizens in Europe. Every European has an equal right to clean air. The recent EU ‘roadmap towards clean vehicles’ shows that governments and the industry know exactly what needs to be done, they just have to start implementing [policies].”