Maladministration and negligence made Dieselgate scandal possible

February 28, 2017

Today, the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurement in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) voted on a report summarising its findings after almost one year of research into the car-emissions scandal and on recommendations to prevent emissions cheating in the future.

The report argues that the maladministration and negligence of European Commission and EU member states, including the UK, allowed widespread fraud to take place in the car industry.

The report concluded that:

  • Outdated laboratory tests allowed car manufactures to build vehicles that emitted up to 14 times more pollution on the streets than in the lab
  • Despite claiming not to have been aware of any illegal behaviour, internal communication between Commission services revealed knowledge of ‘hard cycle beating’ – a clear suggestion of possible illegal defeat device use – yet the no action was taken to investigate this further
  • Member States failed to implement EU car-emissions legislation or to look into why cars they had type-approved were emitting far more pollution on the road compared to the laboratory
  • After the scandal broke, industry lobbying convinced several EU member states, including the UK government, to delay and water down new Real Driving Emissions testing and allow cars to pollute over double than that allowed by law from 2017 to 2020 and 50% more after 2020

The recommendations set out by the Inquiry Committee to prevent future fraud include strengthening the EU’s vehicle type approval process and the Commission’s oversight role, as well as the setting up an EU Agency for vehicle surveillance.

Speaking after the vote, Seb Dance MEP, Labour’s European Spokesperson for the Environment and the S&D’s spokesperson on the Dieselgate scandal, said:

“The verdict is clear: maladministration and negligence made widespread fraud in the car industry possible.

“Member states, including the UK, failed to monitor cars for illegal emissions and turned a blind eye to cheating by VW and other manufacturers on tests and the Commission didn't enforce its own legislation, eroding consumer trust in the car industry and putting public health at risk.”

“This report gives EU countries the opportunity to work together to recover trust in the car industry and get to grips with the air quality crisis taking 50,000 British lives every year.”

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