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Volkswagen 'Will Get Away With Emissions Scandal If U.K. Does Not Act'

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Volkswagen marque at a dealership on June 28, 2016, Los Angeles, California. A U.K. parliamentary committee has warned that without proper sanctions there is little to stop VW emissions scandal from happening again. Mark Ralston/Getty

There is “real danger” that Volkswagen will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act, according to a group of MPs.

A report published by the Transport Select Committee said the Department for Transport has been far too slow to investigate whether VW should be prosecuted in the U.K. over the diesel emissions scandal.

It expressed concern about the “ambivalence” towards assessing the legality of the German car manufacturer's use of software to cheat environmental tests.

The committee warned that without proper sanctions there is little to prevent a similar scandal from happening again.

The report stated: “The Department has been far too slow to assess the applicability of its powers to prosecute VW.”

Labour MP Louise Ellman, chair of the committee, said: “Volkswagen Group has acted cynically to cheat emissions tests which exist solely to protect human health.

“Volkswagen's evidence to us was just not credible but the Government has lacked the will to hold VW accountable for its actions.

“There is a real danger that VW will be able to get away with cheating emissions tests in Europe if regulators do not act.”

VW admitted last September that 482,000 of its diesel vehicles in the US had been fitted with defeat device software to switch engines to a cleaner mode when they were being tested.

It announced that almost 1.2 million vehicles in the U.K. were affected, but is disputing whether the software constitutes a defeat device in the European Union.