EU Parliament gives green light to tighten rules for cleaner cars

EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE/FILE PICTURE

Old exhaust pipes lie in a junk yard in Peine, Germany.

Commission to make sure manufacturers will no longer get away with cheating


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The European Parliament on April 19 formally voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal for a fully overhauled type-approval framework.

“One important complaint we heard about Dieselgate was that the EU failed to act. In reality. our margin to manoeuvre was limited,” Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said. “We now agreed on a fundamental reform that gives the Commission the power to make sure manufacturers will no longer get away with cheating. The new rules will give us cleaner cars on our way to zero emissions and safer cars for the roll-out of autonomous driving,” she added.

The new framework will raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing, increase the number of checks on cars that are already on the EU market, and strengthen the overall system with formal European oversight.

After its formal adoption in Council and later publication in the Official Journal, the regulation will become mandatory as of September 1, 2020, for all new vehicle models.

The new rules go hand-in-hand with other Commission initiatives such as the proposal for a new deal for consumers, which in a Dieselgate-type scenario – when German car maker Volkswagen intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection diesel engines to activate their emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing – allows victims of unfair commercial practices to collectively obtain solutions through representative action. In its efforts to bring down emissions from vehicles, the Commission has introduced new and improved car emissions tests that became mandatory in September 2017.

The Commission said the EC recently held a public consultation on its proposal to further improve these tests. This proposal will be voted on in the Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles (TCMV) in the coming weeks.

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