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Volkswagen Group emissions violations investigated

3 November 2015

Louise Ellman, Chair of the Transport Committee, writes to Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, and Paul Willis, Managing Director, Volkswagen UK about the Volkswagen Group emissions violations.

Chair's comments

"Today I am publishing letters that I have sent to the Secretary of State for Transport and Paul Willis, Managing Director of Volkswagen UK.

Mr Willis and the Secretary of State must now provide the answers that they were unable to give the Transport Select Committee when they appeared before it on 12 October.

I am also requesting information on the steady drip of new revelations that have been revealed since the Committee took evidence and asking what stance the UK government took in the recent EU negotiations than allow manufacturers to exceed current levels of NOx by 110 per cent."

Questions for the Secretary of State for Transport

  • What action is being taken to implement Mr Willis' promise to the Committee that "the British taxpayer should not be out of pocket" for Volkswagen's deception?
  • What position did the Government take during EU negotiations on 28 October that resulted in proposals to allow manufacturers to exceed the current legal levels of NOx by 110 per cent between September 2017 and the start of 2020?
  • What discussions took place between the Department for Transport and Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the study commissioned by DEFRA in 2013 on the danger of NOx emissions?
  • What action is the Government planning following independent research that shows other motor manufacturers have exceeded emissions limits in real world driving conditions; in some cases at levels worse than those of Volkswagen?
  • What information does the Government have concerning any investigations into Volkswagen by the Serious Fraud Office or the Competition and Markets Authority?
  • What powers does the Secretary of State have to prosecute Volkswagen for misleading type approval testers? 

Questions for Volkswagen UK

  • If Volkswagen is capable of making a vehicle that meets the tighter NOx emissions standards in the US why can't it make vehicles that meet that standard for the European market?
  • Without the defeat devices, would the vehicles meet the legal limits on NOx and Particulate Matter emissions?
  • When will Volkswagen's internal investigation be complete? When will it be published?
  • What data does VW group hold on real world driving emissions from the affected vehicles?
  • How is Volkswagen ensuring that its customers are aware of the steps it is taking to remedy the situation and the timescales involved?
  • How will the performance of the cars be affected by the removal of the defeat devices and any other corrections that Volkswagen intends to make?  

This is a still unfolding scandal with wide implications and it is important to have the answers to these questions.

The Transport Committee is now deciding how to pursue this issue further.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto