THE UK Government will impose massive fines on car makers caught cheating emissions tests as part of legislation being introduced next month.
The snappily-titled “Road Vehicles (Defeat Device, Fuel Consumption and Type Approval) Regulations 2018” will primarily clamp down on the use of “defeat devices”, which can alter the behaviour of an engine to reduce emissions when the system detects it’s undergoing a laboratory test.
Car makers could be fined £50,000 for every new car found to be fitted with a defeat device. For mass-market car manufacturers, this could result in penalties potentially running into the tens of millions of pounds.
The “Dieselgate” scandal, which affected over 1.2m cars in the UK and Northern Ireland, and subsequent clampdown on the dirtiest diesel vehicles by central and local government, is believed to be the main factor behind a huge decline in the sales of diesel cars.
As well as aiming to prevent another emissions scandal of this scale, the new regulations are being introduced as part of the UK Government’s broader plans to reduce the country’s emissions output.
The ‘Road to Zero’ plan is being spearheaded by a commitment to ban the sales of non-hybrid petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2040.
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.”
He added: “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.”