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SMMT chief speaks out against reports of widespread fixing of vehicle emissions testing

Mike Hawes

Suggesting other brands alongside Volkswagen have cheated emissions tests is wrong said the head of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders today - and there is not widespread attempts to falsely improve results.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes (pictured) told the National Air Quality Conference: “Consumers are right to be concerned following the events of the past 10 days.

“But we must remember the actions of one company do not mean collusion.

“Implicating other brands or companies would be unfair and wrong."
He also said it would be “wrong to penalise all diesels”.

“The latest diesel vehicles are the cleanest ever, effectively reducing nitrogen oxide levels by 92% compared with earlier generations.

“They make a significant contribution to climate change targets, an environmental challenge which cannot be ignored.
"We can’t throw stones at the entire emissions testing procedure because of one instance of cheating."

He also sought to quash suggestions about how manufacturers ‘cheat’ emissions testing.

Vehicle manufacturers “cannot and do not”, he said:

  • Remove mirrors, seats, windscreen wipers – or any other components
  • Disconnect the alternator
  • Tape over panel gaps
  • Use special oils and lubricants that are not in production vehicles
  • Fit special tyres or overinflate them
  • Alter wheel alignment
  • Use higher gears than in normal use.

“We recognise the current regulations for testing are out of date," Hawes said.

“We want, for consumers and our own industry’s integrity, a new emissions test that embraces new technologies, and which is more representative of on the road conditions."
"We cannot allow this current scandal to detract from vital progress towards the implementation of these new tests."

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