The European Commission today proposed a much stronger framework to oversee the car industry and ensure that EU rules are properly enforced in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal.
The new system would give the EU greater oversight over national authorities responsible for the approval of new vehicle models. It aims to ensure that national testing regimes are independent and impartial in applying the rules, following concerns that many have turned a blind eye to the cheating of emissions tests by car manufacturers. The Commission would also get the power to initiate recalls across the EU, carry out spot-checks of vehicles on the road and impose fines on car manufacturers for non-compliance.
The proposal comes ahead of a key vote next Wednesday in the European Parliament on whether to accept weakened emissions testing rules that would allow car makers to emit double the current legal level of deadly nitrogen oxide pollution from 2019.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, a lead negotiator on the EU's new air quality law, commented:
"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.
"This is about restoring public trust in the industry and protecting people's health."