EU to get tough on car manufacturers

The European Commission want more power over the auto industry

 

The European Commission has announced plans to crackdown on vehicle manufacturers after a breakdown in their previously trusting relationship as a result of last year’s Volkswagen emissions scandal.

In September last year the German automotive firm, VW, admitted it had installed ‘defeat devices’ in some 11 million of its diesel vehicles in order to trick the regulatory nitrogen oxides emissions tests.

The revelation was an embarrassment for the European Union, as it was regulators from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who discovered the cheating software, despite the majority of the affected vehicles being sold into the European market.

The commission member responsible for auto industry regulations, Elzbieta Bienkowska, has said that the EU is now proposing to increase its power over the car industry by imposing random checks on national regulators and demanding that governments set up state-run regulators instead of car manufacturers being allowed to pay for their own checks.

If the proposals were to go ahead, EU regulators would have the power to carry out random vehicle checks and impose fines of up to €30,000 (£23,000) per vehicle.

However, before that time, the proposal must be discussed in the European parliament and approved by EU member states. Bas Eickhout, a member of the European parliament, said: “It will be attacked heavily by the member states because it boils down to giving away sovereignty to Brussels.”

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