AUTOMOTIVE industry body the SMMT is calling for calm in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions-testing scandal.
The German manufacturer was found to have fiddled exhaust tests on diesel cars in the USA, making its vehicles appear up to 40 times cleaner than they actually were.
The scandal originally broke in the USA, but VW subsequently said that up to 11 million of its vehicles had been affected globally. It has set aside 6.5 billion euros (£4.7bn) to cover arising costs.
In a statement, the SMMT said: ‘The UK automotive industry understands the concerns consumers may have following the actions of one manufacturer in regard to emissions testing and the subsequent decision to recall a large number of its cars. This is, however, an issue affecting just one company and there is no evidence to suggest that any other company is involved, let alone that this is an industry-wide issue.
‘Consumers should be reassured that cars sold in the UK must comply with strict European laws. All cars must complete a standard emissions test, which, unlike in the US, is independently witnessed by a government-appointed independent agency.
‘On the separate on-going debate about real-world testing, the industry accepts that the current test method for cars is out of date and is seeking agreement from the European Commission for a new emissions test that embraces new testing technologies and which is more representative of on-road conditions.’
Following a statement earlier this week in which he apologised for what had happened, the chief executive of Volkswagen AG, Professor Dr Martin Winterkorn, pictured above, issued another apology yesterday – this time by video – in which he said: ‘Millions of people all over the world trust our brands, our cars and our technologies. I am deeply sorry that we have broken this trust.’
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