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EU action on dieselgate scandal shows UK must not ditch vehicle emissions legislation

Today’s decision by the European Commission to begin infringement proceedings against seven countries – including the UK – over the dieselgate scandal shows that the best way to ensure British-made cars are clean is for Britain to continue to apply EU vehicle emissions legislation and uphold the highest environmental standards, said Alex Mayer, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England

The Commission is taking action because the countries have failed to fulfil their obligations under EU vehicle type approval legislation by failing to set up penalties systems to deter car manufacturers from violating car emissions legislation, or not applying such sanctions where a breach of law has occurred.

Several manufacturers have used techniques to give lower emissions readings in lab tests than in real world driving, with VW forced to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles after it was revealed they had used sophisticated “defeat devices” to game emissions tests.

Alex Mayer MEP said “Dieselgate happened because of a reluctance by governments to properly enforce vehicle emissions legislation and failure to monitor compliance by car manufacturers. This shows national governments cannot be trusted to take appropriate action against their own car industries, even where malpractice has clearly taken place.

“Today's action further highlights the need for enhanced European oversight and that it is vital Britain continues to abide by strong EU environmental standards after Brexit.

“We cannot enter into a race to the bottom on environmental laws, allowing companies to produce ever more polluting cars and intensify the air pollution crisis that is taking 50,000 British lives every year."

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