MILLIONS of cars on UK roads could be recalled as a probe into rigged emissions tests on Volkswagen models in the US threatened to reach Europe, according to a transport lobby group.
The German car maker apologised after America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found the company had cheated clean-air rules before ordering it to recall nearly half a million diesel models built in the last seven years.
The US government announced it was widening the investigation to other manufacturers, while the European Commission (EC) has contacted VW and US authorities over the findings.
Campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) claimed the technology used in the VW cars, in the form of devices that allowed its diesel cars to release fewer smog-causing pollutants during tests than in real-world driving conditions, was used by other car makers.
Greg Archer, T&E’s clean vehicles manager, told the Daily Telegraph: “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 in the US, and tens of millions of cars have been sold since 2009. That mean 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 a huge number of recalls.”
Diesel car sales make up almost 50% of the total sold in the UK this year, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The EPA’s findings cover 482,000 cars including the VW-manufactured Audi A3, and the brand’s own Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat models.