Volkswagen Scandal: Diesel Cars in Britain Face Emissions Retests

All new models of diesel cars on sale in Britain could be retested over their emissions, the U.K. government announced last night, as the Volkswagen scandal threatens to spread to other car manufacturers, the BBC reported.

It emerged last week that the German car manufacturing giant had been deliberately rigging emissions tests by installing "defeat devices" into some models. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency discovered that certain models produce emissions 40 times higher than the results from lab tests had shown.

The scandal now threatens to engulf other car manufacturers. The International Council on Clean Transportation has said that Hyundai, Renault and Volvo models would all fail emissions tests too, and the U.K. Department for Transport says it will now start retesting cars from different manufacturers to ensure the problem is not industry-wide.

The U.K. transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said: "The Vehicle Certification Agency, the U.K. regulator, is working with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that this issue is not industry-wide. As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real world driving emissions."

The German government confirmed on Thursday that the company had manipulated emissions in Europe as well as in the U.S. "We have been informed that also in Europe vehicles with 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesel engines are affected by the manipulations that are being talked about," said Alexander Dobrindt, Germany's transport minister, although it is unclear how many vehicles in Europe could be affected.

The board of Volkswagen meets on Friday to choose a replacement for chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who resigned on Wednesday. Reports suggest the front-runner for the top job is Porsche chief executive Matthias Mueller.