Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has pushed for ‘real-world’ driving emissions tests in the wake of the VW scandal in a meeting with European transport ministers.
The Government has confirmed that the UK will re-test Euro 5 category diesel cars that VW group has confirmed contain ‘defeat device’ software used to rig pollution tests.
However UK taxpayers will not incur any higher Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) costs if their existing vehicles are fitted with the illegal software that manipulates emissions tests.
The re-testing will involve both laboratory and real-world elements and the measurements will be used as a benchmark for further testing, ‘with the final programme to be developed’ government officials said.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘The needs of consumers must be at the forefront of action to restore public confidence in emissions testing. I have made it clear to Volkswagen that we expect it to support UK owners of vehicles fitted with defeat device software. The UK government has already announced that owners in Britain will not incur higher vehicle taxes as result of VW’s actions.
‘There now needs to be coordinated European work to establish trust in the testing process. As I highlighted to the [European] Transport Council, driving emissions tests that reflect real-world performance must be introduced as quickly as possible.
‘In the meantime, I can confirm that the UK has now started its own testing programme. This will get to the bottom of what the situation is for VW Group cars in the UK and ensure we understand the wider implications for other car types to give all consumers certainty.
‘I have also today repeated my call for a Europe-wide investigation into the use of ‘defeat devices’, in parallel to the work we are doing in the UK.’