It was an awkward moment for Europe when us authorities caught the German carmaker Volkswagen cheating on emissions tests two years ago. These are, after all, German cars. Why do americans find the public’s failure to do so?
Given the power of the German auto industry, many suspect that the German authorities have taken a different approach to approving the car. The speculation is growing as the test of cheating spreads to more carmakers and more countries.
Some things obviously don’t work.
Environmental groups and consumer groups have called for the European commission to step in. Although the vehicle type approval regulations, set up in Brussels, and within the whole group, coordinated, but check the car is in accordance with the provisions of the inspection work is by the national departments in 28 member states of the eu. Critics say diesel engines show that these national inspections are not credible and that inspections should be conducted by an eu authority.
The commission was reluctant to establish a new authority, but it proposed a system to monitor state institutions. If the commission first tried to break the rules, it could have a direct inspection of the authorities and the good carmakers.
Such a proposal would require the approval of the European parliament and the European council, which is the European Union of 28 member states.
Berlin spent months in the security council trying to kill the European Union’s ability to monitor national authorities. It has found some Allies in Italy and eastern Europe, notably the Czech republic. But in the end they were abandoned by other countries, and yesterday they agreed with the European parliament. The deal must be approved by all the parliaments and councils of the member states, but this is usually a formality.
Under the agreement, one in every 40,000 newly registered vehicles will be examined by eu authorities to ensure compliance with eu type certification laws. The commission will have the authority to examine the national authorities every five years.
The final version of the legislation is basically in line with parliamentary requirements. But member states have successfully banned carmakers from providing funds to national authorities’ testing laboratories in the commission’s proposal.
They also banned a provision that would allow independent members to become part of BBS, a member state that oversees the car approval system.
Despite concessions, environmental and consumer groups say it is a victory. Julia Poliscanova, the group’s cleaner car manager, said: “after more than two years of cheating, we can finally say that Europe will have an improved system to control cheaters.
The new law will also give eu powers to demand upgrades and a eu-wide recall when violations are found. These parts of the law will apply only after 2020. The commission will also be able to inspect cars already on the road to ensure they continue to meet health, safety and environmental standards.
The commission can fine manufacturers or technical services up to 30,000 euros in substandard cars.
Shockingly, the deal with European carmakers appears to have stalled. The European automobile manufacturers’ association (ACEA) secretary-general Erik Jonnaert, said the final agreement is “make the type approval system more robust and effective target and avoid excessive management demand of cars” balance between manufacturers.
He added: “we believe that this stronger approval and oversight system will restore consumer trust in the automotive industry.”
The German government’s response has disappeared.
No more diesel?
The final compromise is not as strict as the committee’s original suggestion. But it still means that any national authority will try to in vehicle tests, in turn, because of political pressure from powerful automobile manufacturers, will know that it needs to be considered at the same time. If the commission finds wrongdoing, the consequences could be serious – both carmakers and the authorities involved.
Monique Goyens, head of BEUC, the European consumer association, says monitoring is good news for car buyers. But this is not enough to ensure that the type of cheating in the Dieselgate is not repeated.
She said: “we are satisfied that the eu has developed a check when the car using minimum goal, especially given the countries in this respect is not as,” she said, “more European supervision by the national authorities should also help to eliminate possible conflicts of interest in a member of the European Union.
“But the eu can still do more for consumers. The gap is two emissions from a real-world CO test. This is very desirable, because the gap between CO’s laboratory and the real world simulation is maintained at more than 40 percent. This situation cannot continue, which is why we urge policymakers to resolve immediately. ”
In other words, it’s a good start. But whether the system is effective depends on how powerful the commission is.