Volkswagen has not fixed a single car in Britain, minister says

A Volkswagen sign is seen on wheel of a car presented during the Auto China 2016 auto show in Beijing April 25, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

LONDON (Reuters) - Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE has not fixed any of the 1.2 million cars in Britain affected by the diesel emissions scandal, a British transport minister said on Monday, despite the company having said it had begun software modifications to some models.

The German carmaker, which triggered the biggest scandal in its history with last year’s admission that it rigged U.S. diesel emissions tests, said on Friday that its recall of about 2,000 Amarok pick-up trucks in Britain for a software update began in January and that measures are now being applied to some SEAT and Audi models.

But Robert Goodwill, a junior minister at Britain’s Department for Transport, told lawmakers on parliament’s transport committee that VW had yet to take necessary remedial action on its cars in the UK.

“They haven’t fixed any cars yet, I’m disappointed to announce, and they will need to have their fix approved by us before they do it,” he said in a session held as part of the committee’s inquiry into how vehicles are approved in Britain, prompted by the VW scandal.

The minister also said that car owners had been contacted by the company and that the software fix will be relatively straightforward.

There was no one available to comment at Volkswagen’s UK office when contacted by Reuters outside business on Monday.

VW last week announced that it had agreed a deal with U.S. authorities involving it buying back or potentially fixing about half a million polluting diesel cars and setting up environmental and consumer compensation funds.

Goodwill said the Serious Fraud Office is looking at the issue of compensation in Britain. VW has previously said compensation would not be available to British consumers.

Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by David Goodman