Tricks regarding standard fuel consumption and exhaust emissions have been causing anger for a long time. Now, for the first time, the decision has been made to apply stricter rules in the EU: The Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection of the European Parliament (IMCO) voted on the proposed regulation, which stipulates what has to be done in future to prevent emission scandals by car manufacturers.
The Chamber of Labour, together with the European Consumer Organisation BEUC, has actively followed the negations. After all, consumers are the victims in form of higher fuel costs, if standard and real consumption - in some cases significantly - differ. This represents a deception of car buyers, as environmental friendliness is among their TOP 10 buying arguments. Just recently, a study commissioned by the Chamber of Labour has found the serious difference between standard and real consumption.
The Europe-wide public relations work of the consumer protectors has paid off. Whilst some Member States still haven't learned the lessons from the past and insist on existing structures, IMCO has today approved - by 33 votes in favour and four against of - a report by Daniel Dalton (ECR).
The European Commission is now able to carry out controls (vehicle, testing institutes, type tests) in cases of doubt and to withdraw the type approval in the last instance. It is able to set concrete requirements for market controls in the Member States, whereby there will be a strict separation by the authorities with regard to type approval and market surveillance in the Member States. Apart from that, manufacturers are obliged to declare the software used for type testing in advance. This will make the fight against fraudulent software (“defeat devices”) easier.
Once the report has been adopted by the Plenum, Parliament can start negotiations with the Council. It will then become clear whether the report which was adopted today will be watered down. With regard to the issue of independence of type approval authorities for example, the Commission too demands the strict separation between type approval and consumer tests; however, there is currently no majority for this in the EU Council.