The UK Government may follow other European countries and insist Volkswagen repay scrappage allowances for old cars.
In Spain, the government will receive money for Volkswagen models, mostly SEAT, that it paid out to buyers to encourage the move to cleaner cars.
It offered subsidies of 1,000 euros (£738) for energy efficient cars and the VWs affected were no better than some of the cars traded in. France is making a similar move.
This could be repeated across Europe and including the UK which was paying incentives to buyers to trade in older models for supposedly greener cars.
Britain’s scrappage scheme saw the Government pay £1,000 in 2009 and 2010 for each car over 10 years old put in part exchange for a new model.
About 330,000 cars were traded in under the scheme and that amounted to £330 Million paid out by Government. Of course, not all were Volkswagen Group products which used the now disgraced engines, but they could amount to many millions of pounds when the marques were added together from VW, Audi, Skoda and SEAT.
In 2010 it was said the scheme had pushed down UK cars’ emissions by 5.4%., but this now looks to be inaccurate as some of the cars which claimed to be greener were not in fact any better than some of the models they replaced.
In the UK, Volkswagen Group says it has sold nearly 1.2 M cars with the engines now discredited.
A proportion of those were sold under the scrappage scheme in 2009 and 2010 and it is these that the UK Government could be seeking as return on allowances paid at the time.
German independent testers have put some new cars through the proposed 2017 EU emissions test and found a number of popular models emit far higher pollutants than the current cycle has revealed suggesting there will have to be major engineering changes to get them through tougher tests the industry is seeking to get delayed from introduction.