Climate experts say the government should not be holding consumers accountable
There have been calls on the UK government to hold manufacturers responsible for the current diesel emissions crisis, rather than forcing motorists to pay for the problems caused by dirty diesel vehicles.
Climate experts believe the UK government is not holding the right people accountable for the air pollution caused by diesel-fuel emissions. The manufacturers of diesel vehicles should be forced to recall and update them according to current standards, rather than punishing consumers, claim the experts.
Greg Archer, of NGO Transport & Environment, said: “The polluter should be paying, not the consumer and not the taxpayer.”
The French and German governments have recently introduced regulations which compel car manufacturers, including Audi, Mercedes, Opel, Renault and Volkswagen, to recall any pre-Dieselgate diesel cars from customers and to perform the necessary repairs to bring them in line with current nitrogen oxide emissions standards.
In contrast to these measures in France and Germany, Mr Archer accused the UK government of “doing nothing”.
The criticism comes just days after a £20-per-day city ‘toxin tax’ for diesel drivers was unofficially announced. There has also been talk of introducing a diesel vehicle scrappage scheme, which would reward diesel owners a cash sum for scrapping in their old model for a cleaner car.
Both these proposed schemes would make the consumer pay for the mistakes of the manufacturers. However, the UK government has already said a diesel scrappage scheme is out of the question, stating it would “not be an effective use of significant resources”.
The EU has itself announced tougher penalties for manufacturers who produce vehicles outside of the laws. Manufacturers could be fined to the tune of €30,000 per vehicle if testing and emissions standards are not kept within the regulations.
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