Volkswagen drivers are being warned that their vehicles could be illegal as the fallout from the car manufacturers rigged emissions testing mea culpa continues to reverberate.
The German giant conceded that it had masked the true level of dangerous emissions from its cars in order to present itself as a low polluter, prompting outrage from regulators in the US who are threatening to impose an $18bn fine.
Volkswagen concedes that software installed on all VW and Audi diesels since 2009 had deliberately lowered exhaust fumes when in a test environment in an effort to pull the wool over the eyes of regulators.
In Britain all new diesels must comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard but campaigners, who have long been sceptical of industry figures on nitrogen oxide emissions, say just one in ten vehicles currently meet this standard.
Greg Archer, T&E’s clean vehicles manager said: “The Volkswagen example is clearly just the tip of the iceberg and there will be a lot more companies dragged into this.
“Exactly the same technology is used in Europe as it is the US, and tens of millions of cars have been sold since 2009.
“That means that there are potentially millions of cars that are being driven illegally. Obviously it is not the drivers’ fault, but it is likely we will see huge numbers of recalls.”
The Department of Transport has said that any vehicle found breached regulations will be recalled immediately and discontinued from sale.