EU plans stricter rules for cars

1st February 2016

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Gary Taylor

New rules to tighten controls on car manufacturers to ensure they comply with environmental requirements have been announced by the European commission in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

The commission was already reviewing the EU type approval framework for cars when it was found that software had been fitted to some Volkswagen vehicles in the US to artificially lower nitrous oxide emissions from diesel engines during testing. It has now published its proposals to overhaul the system. These include strengthening the independence of national testing regimes so that they are more impartial in applying the rules, and more surveillance of cars already on the road.

‘The Volkswagen revelations have highlighted the need to further improve the system that allows cars to be placed on the market,’ said Jyrki Katainen, commission vice-president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness. He said the rules required tightening to regain customer trust and to ensure they are observed effectively. ‘It is essential to restore a level playing field and fair competition in the market.’

Liberal Democrat MEP and environmentalist columnist Catherine Bearder welcomed the proposals: ‘Dieselgate has shown that national authorities are either incapable or unwilling to enforce the rules they have signed up to. Stronger oversight of the car industry is vital to ensure standards to cut deadly pollution are upheld across Europe.’

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