Parliament’s inquiry committee investigating the car emissions testing scandal is now halfway through its mandate, but already it has a clearer view of how car manufacturers were able to claim that their cars polluted many times less than they actually did. MEPs vote on their interim report in plenary on Tuesday 13 September. Watch the video for an interview with report authors Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy and Pablo Zalba Bidegain.
Gerbrandy, a Dutch member of the ALDE group, said: “What we see is a picture of European Commission that seems to be either incapable or unwilling to take action against the growing gap between on-road emissions and those during the test cycle. Secondly we see that the member states were not very keen on very strict implementation and enforcement of car emission legislation.”
Zalba Bidegain, a Spanish member of the EPP, said: “Evidently, nobody knew or even suspected anything until Volkswagen admitted in the US that it was using these kind of devices. On the other hand, everyone was aware that there were discrepancies. I believe this crisis will be an opportunity to improve emissions testing.”
This week there will also be two hearings with EU commissioners and representatives from Bosch, a leading automotive supplier that among others supplies engine control units for diesel engines. The commissioners attending the hearings this week are Elżbieta Bieńkowska,responsible for industry and the internal market, and Karmenu Vella, who is responsible for the environment.
So far the Parliament’s inquiry committee into emissions measurements in the car industry has questioned experts as well as representatives from environmental organisations and the car industry. It has also had hearings with current and former commissioners regarding existing and proposed testing procedures. Committee members asked them what they knew about the so-called defeat devices that prevent the emissions control system from working properly.