Thursday, 01 September 2016 16:29

SNP MP calls on new transport minister to take overdue action on emmisions scandal

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An SNP MP has called on Chris Grayling MP, the newly-appointed UK government Secretary of State for Transport, to take long overdue action on the emissions testing and fire scandals that have engulfed Vauxhall and Volkswagen.

In a letter today (Friday) Stewart McDonald MP, the SNP member of the House of Common's Transport Select Committee, has asked Mr Grayling to take the earliest opportunity in the new parliamentary year to publicly state how the Department for Transport plans to deal with the scandals in order to restore public trust amidst “inconsistent actions and evasive rhetoric” by the car manufacturers.
Over 200,000 Vauxhall Zafira B cars have experienced an engine problem that has resulted in some vehicles bursting into flames, while Volkswagen has announced over 1 million of its vehicles in the UK are affected by the diesel emissions scandal that led testers to believe their vehicles met environmental standards.
Commenting Stewart McDonald MP said:
“The UK government has so far utterly failed to take the kind of firm action that we are seeing from other governments to tackle the emissions and fire scandals engulfing the car industry.
"If the new Secretary of State for Transport wants to retain the confidence of the public and parliament he must take the earliest opportunity to set out when and how the UK government plans to improve regulation of the car industry to deal with those companies involved in the current scandals and to prevent similar incidents from happening again. This action is long-overdue and the UK government has many lessons to learn.
"In recent months we have seen the very serious scandals engulfing the car industry come to light - including the Volkswagen emissions scandal, Vauxhall engine fires, and the news that nearly all new diesel cars are exceeding legal pollution limits.
“These are major consumer issues facing this country, and customers expect manufactures like Volkswagen and Vauxhall to be fined, remedy the issues and provide compensation, such as is being done in the USA, which would help the car industry regain public trust.
“With all this in mind, I have asked the Secretary of State for Transport to make a public statement on the long-overdue action this Government must take on the auto industry to help protect customers across the UK.
“The UK government must get its act together and take action now. Otherwise the inconsistent actions and evasive rhetoric that we have seen from the UK government to date will give the impression that they and certain manufacturers have something to hide, and adds to public concern towards an industry trying – but failing - to regain the trust of consumers”.