Opinion column: Concern at changing times

Many ramifications are still to come from the VW scandal.
Many ramifications are still to come from the VW scandal.

No one can be unaware of the huge upheavals taking place in our society at the moment, the enormous numbers of migrants flooding through Europe without any coherent policy to deal with them, and now a blatant attempt at cheating by one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world, VW.

It remains to be seen if other car firms are involved but it throws the idea that diesel cars are better for the environment out of the window. We now know that the emissions from diesel exhausts are far more dangerous to public health than previously admitted to.

The actual emissions when a diesel car is being driven on the road by the average driver it would seem could be up to forty times greater than the official figures issued by the manufacturer.

Now all vehicle road tax bands in the UK are determined by the vehicles emissions, but does the DVLA actually test individual vehicle emissions to set the tax band or do they use the manufacturer’s figures? I’m pretty sure they have neither the time nor resources to actually test vehicles and most likely rely on manufacturer’s figures.

This means that there are a large number of vehicles on the road today that have road tax figures set on a false premise. When the facts of this disturbing case are fully clear, will it mean that diesel cars will be re-assessed on actual emission figures, thus pushing the cost of road tax to the motorist significantly up?

We can only watch the outcome of this situation but I suspect there will be many ramifications from the VW scandal, not least for the company itself and also our government policy of pushing diesel cars as an environmentally friendly alternative to petrol.