The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) issued a statement which said the industry “accepts that the current test method for cars is out of date” and is seeking agreement with the European Commission for a process that “embraces new testing technologies and which is more representative of on-road conditions”.
We are in a European market with European rules. “All cars must complete a standard emissions test, which, unlike in the United States, is independently witnessed by a government-appointed independent agency”, said the SMMT.
A day after longtime chief executive Martin Winterkorn stepped down, a member of Volkswagen’s supervisory board said that he expects further resignations at the vehicle manufacturer in the wake of the scandal.
Volkswagen has said 11 million of its diesel cars around the world could be implicated after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency revealed VW had been using software to mask pollutants.
Meanwhile, the EPA and the California Air Resources Board are investigating the way VW cheated tests with its diesel cars.
The German car-maker has admitted that 11 million vehicles worldwide might have been fitted with software to trick emissions testers into believing their vehicles met environmental standards.
The troubled company – whose stock had plunged 35 per cent in two days and wiping out €25 billion in market capitalisation – warned it would have to adjust its annual profit targets accordingly.
Environmentalists have long argued that automakers are exploiting loopholes in emissions tests, allowing them to overstate the fuel efficiency and emissions benefits of their latest models.
France requested a Europe-wide probe, South Korea summoned Volkswagen officials for explanations and the US Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation.
On Tuesday, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin took to national radio to call for a “Europe-wide” probe into carmakers. It is these that have to be respected.
Michael Jacobs, senior adviser to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and its New Climate Economy project, said the case showed the need for tougher regulation. “They were pushed into it by government, and they’re very slick with their marketing and we now discover the truth underneath”.
Friday’s revelations that German vehicle giant Volkswagen Group fudged USA pollution tests look set to cause significant ripples throughout Europe’s auto industry. However, it said it was too early to tell whether European regulators and consumers had fallen victim to similar deception. “Some heads need to roll to get investors buying back VW”, Vincenzo Longo, a strategist for IG Group in Milan, told Bloomberg.
Either way, the test cycle review will introduce routine real-world tests in 2017 and limit the degree to which their results can be undercut by lab scores, its advocates say.