Transport minister unveils new measures allowing government to prosecute carmakers
Fri 2 Feb 2018
Carmakers who cheat emissions rules with illegal devices could face unlimited fines and criminal charges for deceiving environmental tests under new measures set to be introduced in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal.
The transport minister, Jesse Norman, launched a consultation on Friday to outline the crackdown, although any law will not be retrospective so could not be used to target Volkswagen.
“We continue to take the unacceptable actions of Volkswagen extremely seriously, and we are framing new measures to crack down on emissions cheats in future,” Norman said. “Those who cheat should be held to proper account in this country, legally and financially, for their actions.”
Downing Street said new powers would go above and beyond European requirements and the government would be able to prosecute any manufacturer who cheated on the required tests for vehicles. However, it is thought sentences will only include unlimited fines rather than prison sentences.
Crucially, the rules will extend to imported cars which Downing Street said was the key reason the UK was previously unable to impose fines on Volkswagen, which was ordered to pay $2.8bn in criminal penalties in the United States for cheating on emissions tests, revealed in 2015.