Car owners will not be issued with higher Vehicle Excise Duty if their existing vehicles are found to be fitted with illegal software that manipulates emissions tests.

This announcement comes following VW's admission of using 'defeat devices' in diesel cars which has led to an ongoing UK government investigation into the extent of the wrongdoings.

Although there is no current evidence, the government also announced that they will be investigating into whether the illegal software used by VW is being used elsewhere, with laboratory and real world testing planned for the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).

The Department for Transport (DfT) wrote to manufacturers last week to seek further clarity, and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Our priority is to protect the public and give them full confidence in diesel tests.

"The government expects VW to support owners of these vehicles already purchased in the UK and we are playing our part by ensuring no one will end up with higher tax costs as a result of this scandal.

"We are also starting our testing programme to get to the bottom of what the situation is for VW cars in the UK and understand the wider implications for other car types to give all consumers certainty."

Working closely with the VCA and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the DfT will see out the programme of tests, where neither cars, nor the testing facilities will be provided by the vehicle industry themselves.

The next phase of the programme will involve initially re-testing diesel cars that VW group has confirmed contain 'defeat device' software of Euro 5 category, approved by the VCA, in both a laboratory and real-world setting.

These measurements will be used as a benchmark for further testing, with the final programme to be developed.


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