The price of premium cars could soar if European Commission emissions caps are imposed.
Estimates suggest car makers could be liable for fines of around £9 billion a year if EC proposals are given the go-ahead, with a significant proportion of the costs being passed on to car buyers.
That could mean buyers of Mercedes or BMWs are charged up to £2500 more than at present.
The European Commission wants to cap average emissions for each car manufacturer's range at 130g/km of carbon dioxide from 2012.
The average car emission figure is currently 162g/km, although this varies significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer, according to its model range.
For instance, PSA Peugeot Citroen's models average 142g/km of CO2, whereas Daimler and BMW average 188 and 184g/km respectively.
The latest compromise being proposed is to fine manufacturers about £60 (90 Euros) per gram per car that they exceed the emissions target.
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