European Parliament tightens car emission oversight
Friday, April 14, 2017 - 6:00:00
(VOVworld) - The European Parliament has recommended that the European Union and the European Commission take prompt action to tighten car emissions oversight to stop emissions cheating.
The non-binding recommendation is based on a report from the committee that launched a probe last July into evidence of emissions cheating by Volkswagen. Emissions tests of European cars have received too little attention in recent years. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, Volkswagen used computer software called “defeat devices” to cheat the tests. The software is able to identify when a car is being tested and temporarily limit its engine power and thus the amount of greenhouse gases produced. On the road the same car would emit up to 40 times more pollutants.
Tailpipe exhaust (Photo by Pro Car Mechanics)
Diesel engines, which are environmentally friendly, have helped Volkswagen gain market share in recent years. But they are likely to lose their dominance in Europe now that Volkswagen Group's emissions cheating has raised doubts about diesel’s advantages.
According to the European Parliament, discrepancies between real-life conditions and tests in the laboratory were no secret, but EC members have not taken prompt steps to protect air quality and safeguard people’s health. The EC has demanded that all work on drafting air quality and emissions legislation be placed within the portfolio of a single Commissioner and Directorate-General to improve oversight and focus, and that EU legislation on actual driving emissions be adopted quickly.
In a separate vote, the European Parliament amended EU rules to make environmental and safety testing more independent, with stricter oversight of cars already on the road.
Under the recommendation, EU member states would have to test annually at least 20 percent of the cars placed on the market in their country in the previous year, and fines imposed by the Commission on car manufacturers who falsify test results could be up to 30,000 euros per vehicle. The recommendations will be discussed by the European Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament in the near future.