Nissan has said the Government will never meet its target of reducing carbon emissions without banning the importation of used cars from the UK.
The company said UK cars do not meet the EU’s current emission standards.
Nissan was reacting to confirmation from the Minister for Climate Action and Environment that the Government’s plan to cut carbon emissions is not working.
Figures from the Environmental Protection Agency show that Ireland is locked into a trend of rising CO2 emissions.
"The Government will never meet its target of reducing carbon emissions without introducing a ban on the importation of used cars from the UK. which do not meet the current Euro 6 emissions standard in place in Ireland," said James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland.
"Over 100,000 used cars will be imported into Ireland in 2018. About 80,000 of these cars are ‘dirty diesels’ that do not meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards.
"However, a loophole in the law allows these cars to be sold and put onto Irish roads because they were first registered in the UK."
"The Government is moving further and further away from achieving its target as an average of 1,500 dirty diesel cars are put onto Irish roads each week.
Nissan estimates that the problem is displacing up to 50,000 new car sales in the current year resulting in a loss of €300,000,000 to the Irish exchequer.
Each used car import generates just €2,500 in taxes compared to approximately €8,500 for each new vehicle sold. This loss is set to rise to €400,000,000 in 2019.
Nissan has said that the importation of dirty diesel cars from the UK is set to worsen amid continued uncertainty over Brexit and weak Sterling rates.
It expects the number of used car imports to rise to 120,000 in 2019, exacerbating the challenge to Government to cut carbon emissions.
The issue is also set to result in the Government incurring significant future costs to clean up the national car fleet.