Volkswagen scandal should be a turning point for EU car emissions, say S&D
During a plenary debate on the Volkswagen scandal, Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today demanded the Commission immediately launch a EU-wide investigation to identify defeat devices used on vehicles sold in Europe irrespective of the brand or fuel used, and covering not only Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) but also other pollutants.
S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt said:
"Criminal behaviour from any company, no matter the size, will not be tolerated as it not only erodes public trust and undermines the quality of European products, but it also causes significant health damage to the European population. Air pollution still causes over 400,000 premature annual deaths across the EU.
"The Volkswagen fraud has unveiled many of the shortcomings we have been denouncing. Now this is a chance to act: We must put an end to the European system where car makers pay national testing organisations to perform the testing, choosing where they want their models tested and acting as funders of these testing authorities. We should establish an independent EU-Type Approval Authority that would oversee testing and be truly independent.
"The workers should not pay for the mistakes of the executives (who earned huge bonuses over the last years); this is why we want the Commission to make sure that every precautionary measure is taken to guarantee that no jobs will be lost and provisions shall be made to address possible negative effects of the Volkswagen scandal on employment and the economy."
S&D spokesperson on climate and health, Matthias Groote MEP, said:
"We have been calling for a Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure for years, and we think it must be applied to vehicles from 2017 onwards with no new loopholes in the form of conformity factors or deviation margins to ensure that new diesel cars on EU roads finally meet the Euro 6 limit agreed almost 10 years ago. We hope that this time the EPP Group will support this new system.
"The Volkswagen scandal should be seen as an opportunity for the European car industry to invest in more targeted R&D in order to move faster towards our next step: The electrification of the European car fleet. All efforts should be made to ensure that electric cars will be more affordable for the average consumer."