• European Parliament’s Dieselgate report rightly identifies the failings of national regulators in clamping down on dodgy car emissions

    Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the draft report and recommendations of the European Parliament’s investigation into the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal, known as the EMIS committee. The draft Dieselgate report, presented by co-rapporteurs MEPs Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy and Jens Gieseke, rightly identifies the key failures of national regulators to implement the current rules on vehicle testing: failure to independently test cars in order to verify cars’ performance on the road; failure to search for illegal defeat devices despite clear obligations to do so; and failure to put in place and apply dissuasive penalties on car manufacturers.

    The draft report also rightly points to the fact that the Commission was too slow to adopt the new Real-world Driving Emissions (RDE) test protocol and was not rigorous enough checking how well the Member States are implementing EU laws. T&E also welcomes the solutions proposed to prevent an auto scandal of such magnitude from happening again.

    The Parliament has a unique opportunity to implement the urgently needed reforms to the EU vehicles testing system in the current negotiations on the Type Approval Framework Regulation (TAFR), which will be voted in the lead committee on 26 January 2017. Thus, MEPs should vote to establish a new independent European Vehicles Surveillance Agency that would check cars’ performance on the road to ensure they meet all the safety and environmental standards in the real world. The EU Agency should also control the work of the national regulators, which have failed to do their job so far as this draft report lays bare.

    Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles manager of T&E, said: “At the heart of the Dieselgate scandal in Europe lies the testing system that today is shrouded in secrecy and cronyism. It’s high time to demand Europe’s testing authorities put public health above economic interests of national car champions. We call on MEPs to strengthen the current draft report to ensure the future EU vehicle testing system is independent, transparent and rigorous with effective oversight at EU level.”