UK probes quality of car emissions tests after VW crisis

VW branch in Duesseldorf Image copyright Getty Images

MPs are to investigate if the way the UK approves the road worthiness of cars is "fit for purpose".

It follows the Volkswagen emissions scandal in which some diesel cars had software fitted designed to cheat emissions tests.

Parliament's Transport Committee said it would look into whether arrangements for testing noise, performance and emissions met EU standards.

The Vehicle Certification Authority oversees approval of UK vehicles.

Louise Ellman, chairwoman of the Transport Committee, said: "The Volkswagen scandal has raised serious concerns about whether vehicle type approval testing is fit for purpose.

"We heard evidence in October that the gap between emissions detected in test conditions and those detected in the real world significant. The testing procedure is clearly inadequate."

Investigations by several authorities across the world have been started since it was revealed in the US that VW used software to cheat tests for nitrogen oxide, a pollutant that can cause health problems.

Environmental campaigners have long complained that the performance of vehicles in "real world" driving bears little resemblance to the results achieved in laboratory tests.

Ms Ellman said: "It is essential to examine these allegations and to ensure that the government and EU take action to restore public confidence."