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UK to launch vehicle emissions probe following VW scandal

car exhaust Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The UK is to launch its own probe into emissions

The UK is to launch its own investigation into vehicle emissions testing, following the VW scandal in the US.

The UK regulator, the Vehicle Certification Agency, will work with car makers to re-run lab tests where necessary.

It will then compare the results against "real-world" driving emissions.

Meanwhile the EU has also said that there should be a Europe-wide investigation into emissions testing.

UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "The Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK regulator, is working with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that this issue is not industry wide.

"As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real world driving emissions."

"My priority is to protect the public as we go through the process of investigating what went wrong and what we can do to stop it happening again in the future."

Separately, the European Commission said in a statement: "We invite all member states - in addition to the ones who are already doing so - to carry out all the necessary investigations.

"We need to have the full picture of whether and how many vehicles certified in the EU were fitted with defeat devices, which is banned by EU law."

Image copyright AP

I'm a VW owner - what should I do?

VW is preparing to release more details about which brands and models could be affected and the next steps to be taken by the company and drivers.

The company will cover any costs involved, having already set aside €6.5bn (£4.7bn).

At present affected drivers in the US should probably expect a recall at some point in the next year, but there are no details yet as to whether the same will happen elsewhere.

There is no suggestion that the cars are in anyway unsafe to drive, so owners can carry on motoring as normal.

That is particularly important in the UK where diesel cars account for 50% of sales.

Read Kevin Peachey's piece in full here

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Mike Hawes, chief executive of the UK's Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders said: "This is ... 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."

The scandal started last Friday when the German car giant said it had used software in the US to provide false emission test results.

It led to the resignation of the group's chief executive Martin Winterkorn on Wednesday. His replacement is expected to be announced on Friday.

VW has already set aside €6.5bn (£4.7bn) to pay for the costs of the crisis.