Volkswagen halts 4,000 UK sales over diesel emissions scandal


Volkswagen has taken 4,000 vehicles off the market in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal.

The vehicles contain engines which may be fitted with software that was used to con emissions testers in the US.

A VW spokesman said: "As a voluntary measure we have suspended the sale of unsold diesel vehicle stocks that have the EA 189 engines."

He added that around 4,000 vehicles were affected across the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands.

VW said this equates to 3% of new vehicle stock.

The decision was taken to enable the firm to "resolve the current issue with the vehicles", the spokesman said.

VW has announced plans to contact 1.2 million VW owners in the UK to arrange for their vehicles to be "corrected".

The scandal began in the US, where the Environmental Protection Agency said 482,000 Volkswagen vehicles were fitted with sophisticated defeat device software, which switches engines to a cleaner mode when they are undergoing official testing.

Once on the road the cars produced nitrogen oxide pollutants at up to 40 times the legal standard.

VW has admitted that 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide are fitted with the software.

Motoring research charity, the RAC Foundation, said drivers are concerned about what effect the software has had on their cars, and what impact the recall will have on performance.

The organisation's director, Steve Gooding, commented: "Slowly but surely the true impact of this deceit is being revealed. But big questions remain, not least why do VW Group cars in the UK need to be recalled at all?

"If the defeat technology was installed but not used what is the point of the work? Is there still more to this than we are being told?

"We all want clean air to breathe, but motorists will understandably be worried about the MPG (miles per gallon) implications of these so-called corrections on the cars many will have bought on the strength of their fuel economy."

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, admitted that motorists "are right to be concerned" by VW's actions but claimed "the actions of one company do not mean collusion".

He added: "It would be wrong to penalise all diesels. The latest diesel vehicles are the cleanest ever ... effectively reducing nitrogen oxide levels by 92% compared with earlier generations."

Prosecutors in Germany announced that their investigation of the scandal has not yet uncovered any evidence against former VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn.

London-based law firm Bentham Europe announced that it is in discussion with VW investors around the world to fund a claim against the car-maker in Germany for not informing the market about its use of defeat device software.