EU lawmakers on Tuesday urged European authorities to quickly establish new checks to prevent automakers from cheating on emissions testing following the Volkswagen “dieselgate” scandal. In a non-binding resolution, the European Parliament called on the European Commission, the 28-nation EU executive, and the member states to set up new controls, a decision welcomed by a major consumer organisation. “They should now act swiftly to improve tests and checks on new cars on EU roads,” MEPs recommended based on a report from the committee that launched a probe into the scandal last July.
The dieselgate scandal blew open when Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it installed software devices in 11 million diesel-engine cars worldwide that reduced emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides when it detected the vehicle was undergoing tests. The EU parliament said the commission and member states had known for 10 years that emissions were much higher on the road than on laboratory simulators, and yet had failed to act.
It recommended that future emissions legislative proposals be handled by the office of a single European commissioner to boost oversight. “EU legislation on real driving emissions should be adopted swiftly,” the parliament added. It also called for manufacturers to compensate car buyers hurt by the scandal and urged the commission to propose rules for a collective and harmonised EU redress system. The parliament also recommended centralising car-type approvals in Europe.
The recommendations would also boost the role of the commission by giving it more oversight and sanctions powers. The European consumer organisation BEUC said the parliament heeded its call to fix a flawed testing system and put tougher measures in place.
“Today’s vote shows the parliament has drawn the right lessons from the emissions scandal and is standing on the consumer’s side,” BEUC Director General Monique Goyens said.