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Carmakers to face heavy fines over vehicles designed to cheat UK emissions tests

Carmakers will face heavy fines if they supply vehicles designed to cheat emissions tests to the UK, the government announced today (7 June 2018).

Under tough 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.

This comes following the publication of the government’s Clean Air Strategy, which set out a range of measures to tackle air pollution. And the government 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 behavior 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.

This announcement comes alongside the government’s commitment to end the sale of conventional new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040 and follows the publication of the UK’s air quality plan for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) last year.

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. This 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 program.

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