After Dieselgate, EU to tighten rules for safer, cleaner cars

European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reach a political agreement to significantly raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing


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Given that Dieselgate has revealed the weaknesses of our regulatory and market surveillance system, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on December 7 reached a political agreement to significantly raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing, increase checks of cars that are already on the EU market and strengthen the overall system with European oversight.

The EU co-legislators have reached an agreement on the Commission proposal from January 2016 to fully overhaul the EU “type-approval” framework: the rules for certifying that a vehicle meets all requirements to be placed on the market and for rigorous checking of manufacturers’ ongoing compliance with EU law,” EU Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said.

“With tighter rules which are policed more strictly, the car industry has the chance to regain consumers’ trust. Just a few weeks after the Commission’s clean mobility proposals, today’s agreement marks yet another milestone in the EU’s wider efforts to reinforce our car industry’s global leadership in clean and safe vehicles,” he added.

For her part, Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska reminded that Dieselgate has revealed the weaknesses of our regulatory and market surveillance system.

“We know that some car manufacturers were cheating and many others were exploiting loopholes. To put an end to this, we are overhauling the whole system,” she said. “After almost two years of negotiations, I welcome that the key elements of our proposal have been upheld, including real EU oversight and enforcement powers. In the future, the Commission will be able to carry out checks on cars, trigger EU-wide recalls, and impose fines of up to €30,000 per car when the law is broken,” Bieńkowska added.

The new rules would raise the quality level and independence of type-approval and testing before a car is placed on the market.

They also plan to increase checks of cars that are already on the EU market.

All Member States will now be able to immediately take safeguard measures against non-compliant vehicles on their territory without having to wait for the authority that issued the type-approval to take action, as is currently still the case.

In the future, the Commission will carry out market checks independently from Member States and will have the possibility to initiate EU-wide recalls. It will have the power to challenge the designation of technical services, and to impose administrative penalties on manufacturers or technical services of up to €30,000 per non-compliant car.

The preliminary political agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council and Commission in so-called trilogue negotiations is now subject to formal approval by the European Parliament and Council.

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