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Transport Committee pans Government over Volkswagen emissions scandal

Date: 15 July 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Transport Committee has said the Government should investigate and consider prosecuting Volkswagen over the emissions scandal.

The group - which examines the expenditure, administration and policies of the Department for Transport - also claimed the Government has been too slow to act, and added that without any sanctions levied against manufacturers there is little to stop another case happening in the future.

VW's refusal to compensate owners of affected vehicles in Europe, despite doing so in America, was also described as "deeply unfair" by the group, while it said it is now calling on the DfT to ensure that owners are not out of pocket as a result of the emissions scandal.

The DfT was also critisied for "trying to pass the buck onto the European Commission" to ascertain whether VW broke any laws, with the committe claiming the responsibility for prosecution lies with national Governments and not the Commission, "which holds neither the evidence nor the powers to prosecute."

The lobbying group also welcomed the planned introduction of real-world emissions testing as well as more stringent lab tests, but said it was "disappointed" that emissions limits were not dropped further.

"Volkswagen Group has acted cynically to cheat emissions tests which exist solely to protect human health. Volkswagen's evidence to us was just not credible but the Government has lacked the will to hold VW accountable for its actions," said chair of the transport select committee, Louise Ellman. "There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act."

"Vehicle owners have been refused goodwill payments. That is despite VW inflicting a great deal of uncertainty on its own customers along with the prospect of declining residual values and the inconvenience of having to undergo repairs," Ellman added. "We are concerned that VW's fix was developed at the lowest possible cost which might lead to increased costs for motorists down the line. We have called upon the Vehicle Certification Agency to do everything in its power to ensure that does not happen."