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VW emissions scandal highlights need for more accurate testing regime, says BVRLA

The car manufacturer's announcement that 11 million diesel engines worldwide have software discrepancies that could lead to a deviation between its ‘official’ and real-world emissions means that it is now facing multiple investigations in the United States, including a criminal probe from the Department of Justice according to reports. And although the carmaker has said that the software has no effect on real-world emissions in Europe, the UK’s Department of Transport is supporting calls for an EU-wide investigation into the affair.

In response BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said: “We look forward to the results of the investigation, and will be monitoring the situation to see if similar activity also took place in the UK market. 

“The rental and leasing industry plays a vital role in promoting the uptake of clean vehicles, and our sector will be affected by this announcement. Our members and their customers are concerned about the implications for this potentially reaching the UK, and will want to understand what it means for the domestic market.

“In recent years, the UK’s tax regime has encouraged fleets to choose vehicles based on official emissions figures, and while our emissions test is a fundamentally different system to the US, these revelations reinforce the need for a more accurate testing regime.

“These investigations have only just begun, so we’re watching closely to see if the scope widens further to include other manufacturers and vehicles. It is difficult to comment any further about potential impacts until we have a better understanding of how governments, manufacturers and customers react.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.