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UK Cars ‘Could Be Recalled’ Over VW Scandal – Sky News

Millions of cars on British roads could be recalled in light of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, a transport campaign group has warned.

A senior executive for the German car-maker has admitted it “totally screwed up” by deliberately circumventing the clean air rules on diesel cars, which meant some models were releasing as much as 40 times the level of legally allowed emissions.

The allegations circling “defeat devices” have affected 482,000 vehicles in the US to date and manufacturers across the world are now all under pressure to rule out any exposure to the rigging of emissions testing.

However, according to the Transport & Environment group, “there is strong evidence that similar illegal devices are also used in Europe by both VW and other manufacturers”.

The lobby group’s clean vehicles manager, Greg Archer, also believes the fallout from the scandal could be more keenly felt in Europe.

“Diesel cars are niche in the US, and in most of the rest of the world, representing just one in seven cars sold worldwide. But in Europe, over half of new cars are diesels,” he explained.

According to Mr Archer, 7.5 million of the 10 million diesel cars sold globally last year were bought in Europe, and the costs for manufacturers could run into billions of pounds.

Following a 19% fall in VW’s share price on Monday, its stock fell further on Tuesday – with contagion spreading to other manufacturers on fears of a potential link to the scandal.

However, Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has signalled this is likely an isolated case.

He explained: “The EU operates a fundamentally different system to the US – with all European tests performed in strict conditions as required by EU law and witnessed by a government-appointed independent approval agency.

“There is no evidence that manufacturers cheat the cycle. Vehicles are removed from the production line randomly and must be standard production models, certified by the relevant authority – the UK body being the Vehicle Certification Agency, which is responsible to the Department for Transport.

“The industry acknowledges, however, that the current test method is outdated and is seeking agreement from the European Commission for a new emissions test that embraces new testing technologies and is more representative of on-road conditions.”

On Monday, Volkswagen’s share price plunged sharply, and the company’s chief executive apologised for breaking customers’ trust.

Martin Winterkorn added: “We will co-operate fully with the responsible agencies, with transparency and urgency, to clearly, openly and completely establish all of the facts of this case.

“Volkswagen has ordered an external investigation of this matter. We do not and will not tolerate violations of any kind of our internal rules, or of the law.”

UK Cars ‘Could Be Recalled’ Over VW Scandal – Sky News

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