Department for Transport to regularly test a range of UK vehicles and components to ensure they comply with approved standards

The UK government has announced it will carry out “surveillance testing” on vehicles in the wake of the emissions scandal.

Alongside the already confirmed Real Driving Emissions (RDE) tests, which will begin next year, the surveillance tests will include testing a random sample of vehicles and components, which are on sale in the UK, to ensure they meet approved standards.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said this programme should “reduce the risk that products entering the market are non-compliant”.

There is currently no more information on sample sizes, regularity of testing or possible outcomes of the surveillance, with the DfT saying more details on “how testing will be carried out will be finalised in due course”.

The statement to Parliament on the matter stated: "We will continue working to ensure that the new rules for real driving emissions and type approval are robust, deliver the expected outcomes and that manufacturers behave consistently.

“In addition, this year the DfT will be establishing a new programme of market surveillance testing, which will seek to ensure that products entering our markets fully comply with the law."

The Europe-wide RDE tests will be introduced in stages, starting next year, and will include some real-world driving emissions measurements. Along with other emissions test and type approval changes, Europe's testing regime is set to be the toughest in the world by 2019.

The news is a result of independent UK and German government testing, which highlighted the gap between official laboratory test results and real-world emissions figures.

While no manufacturers other than VW were found guilty of using defeat devices, the German investigation called on a number of manufacturers to voluntarily recall cars that failed to meet expectations. In the UK, Audi, Mercedes, Suzuki and Vauxhall has so far confirmed it will voluntarily recall affected models.  

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