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Carmakers face £50,000 fine per vehicle for fitting defeat devices

Car's exhaust pipe

Carmakers will face heavy fines if they supply vehicles designed to cheat emissions tests to the UK, the Government announced today (June 7).

Under the 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.

Transport minister Jesse Norman said: “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.”

Following revelations in 2015 that Volkswagen had been using software which caused their 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.

Volkswagen reimbursed the British taxpayer £1.1 million for the costs of this programme.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Every new car sold in the UK meets the strictest of regulations governing everything from safety to emissions standards and how vehicles are tested and approved for sale.

"Government’s own testing of vehicles has consistently shown them to be compliant, and we are pleased Government recognises that manufacturers have been rigorous in meeting the standards.

"There have always been severe penalties for any manufacturer involved in any kind of misconduct in the type approval process carried out here in the UK. Furthermore, all new cars meet the very latest and toughest-ever emission standards which, together with Government powers to conduct in-service testing, should give consumers the confidence they are buying the cleanest and safest cars in history.”

The Road Vehicles (Defeat Device, Fuel Consumption and Type Approval) Regulations 2018 should come into force from July 1.

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