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Carmakers face fines for supplying vehicles to the UK that cheat emissions tests

Carmakers face fines for supplying vehicles to the UK that cheat emissions tests

Carmakers will face fines of up to £50,000 if they supply vehicles designed to cheat emissions tests to the UK, the government has announced.

Under new regulations, manufacturers could be forced to pay up to £50,000 for each new vehicle found to be fitted with a so-called ‘defeat device’.

The rules have been brought in following a government consultation which saw overwhelming support for measures to crack down on emissions cheats that were uncovered with the Volkswagen Group scandal.

Had the legislation been in place when the scandal broke in 2015, which Volkswagen admitted involved one million of its diesel cars sold in the UK being fitted with emissions-cheating software, the company could have been fined as much as £50 billion. Globally the software was fitted in 11 million Volkswagen cars.

The government’s move comes following the publication of its Clean Air Strategy, which set out a range of measures to tackle air pollution. Additionally, the government says it will outline further steps as part of its ‘Road to Zero Strategy’, which will set out how the UK will transition to zero emission vehicles.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “There has rightly been a huge public outcry against car manufacturers that have been cheating on emissions standards. Their behaviour has been dishonest and deplorable.

“These tough new regulations are designed to ensure that those who cheat will be held to proper account in this country, legally and financially, for their actions.”

The Road Vehicles (Defeat Device, Fuel Consumption and Type Approval) Regulations 2018 will be laid in Parliament before coming into force on 1 July, 2018.

Following revelations in 2015 that Volkswagen had been using software which caused its car engines to behave differently during emissions tests, the Department for Transport tested a range of the most popular diesel vehicles in the UK. It found that no other manufacturer tested was using a similar strategy to Volkswagen. The manufacturer reimbursed the British taxpayer £1.1 million for the costs of the programme.