Richard Burden – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Transport

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Richard Burden on 2015-11-17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2015 to Question 16052, what steps he is taking to ensure that the two Skoda vehicles tested were representative of the affected models and manufacturers from the Volkswagen Group; and what steps were taken to validate the effectiveness of the test procedure for the wider programme.

Andrew Jones

The two Skoda cars tested are part of the Vehicle Certification Agency fleet. Their engines are of the type that VW has confirmed as being equipped with software that recognises test conditions. Our testing has confirmed differences in exhaust emissions when measured using the type approval tests and with an alternative procedure. However, it cannot be guaranteed that a single alternative procedure would identify defeat strategies on other vehicles and therefore our planned programme of work will involve a number of alternative tests, including real driving, to interrogate their emission behaviour.

Our programme will consider, without bias, approximately 40 vehicles that are representative of some 70 different models in the UK market. These have been selected based both upon the volume of sales over each of the last 5-years and the overall number of each model currently licensed for use on the roads of Great Britain.

We have agreed with ministers in France and in Germany to exchange knowledge and understanding as our respective programmes develop. This collaboration may allow our programmes to be rationalised to avoid duplication of testing and secure best value for the taxpayer.

An update on progress will be prepared early in the New Year and a full report will be issued at the conclusion of the work.