Diesel cars ‘are killing people’, warns former Labour minister – Telegraph.co.uk

  Lord Drayson’s warning that the cars are now literally “killing people” will further alarm millions of diesel car owners across the country.

He believes an incentive scrappage scheme to allow diesel owners to switch to electric or hybrid vehicles would help to resolve the issue.

Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Lord Drayson is absolutely right to call attention to the role our vehicle tax system has inadvertently played in the current pollution crisis.

“Diesel emissions are a known cause of lung cancer, and can worsen existing lung conditions and other health problems.

“Incentivising diesel may have led to reduction in CO2 emissions, but the government urgently needs to look at how the unintended health consequences of this policy can be counteracted, including encouraging use of active travel and low-emission vehicles”.

As the crisis engulfing disgraced automaker VW worsens, British motorists are now facing up to the prospect that the scandal might affect them too.

Volkswagen has said it will fix the emissions cheating software that was installed in its diesel cars between 2009 and 2015.

The software allowed cars to evade emissions tests, making them seem cleaner than they were.

Some 11 million cars are affected worldwide, including VW cars and commercial vehicles, and Audi, Skoda and Seat cars.

VW has announced an “action plan” to fix the affected cars and will be contacting customers in the next few weeks.

The company will offer to repair the cars free of charge. However, it is not thought the fix will involve a formal recall.

Under the UK’s code of practice, a recall happens “when a defect is identified that… could result in serious injury”.

As the emissions cheating software does not affect the cars’ roadworthiness, this code would not apply.

VW has said that 1.2 million cars in the UK were fitted with the illegal emissions-cheating software: 508,276 VWs, 393,450 Audis, 76,733 Seats and 131,569 Skodas, as well as 79,838 vans.

Petrol models are not affected.

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