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EU proposes emissions tests shake-up

Date: 29 January 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The European Commission has proposed an overhaul of the 'type approval process' for new vehicles, including the way fuel economy figures are calculated, following the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Under the plans, the EU wants the tests to be carried out by independent adjudicators who are not connected to the industry, while it also and to gain the power to issue recalls.

At the moment, tests are carried out at a national level and are then valid across Europe, and the new plans to test the level of nitrogen oxide emitted from car exhausts will apply to all countries in the EU.

Also, as part of the EU's shake-up, labs that test vehicles would no longer be paid by car makers, in an attempt to prevent conflicts of interest.

"In a single market where goods circulate freely, everyone must play by the rules," said Jyrki Katainen, vice-president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness at the EC. "The Volkswagen revelations have highlighted that the system which allows cars to be placed on the market needs further improvement."

"To regain customers' trust in this important industry, we need to tighten the rules but also ensure they are effectively observed," said Katainen. "It is essential to restore a level playing field and fair competition in the market."

The draft regulation has been sent to the European Parliament and Council for adoption and should it be adopted it will come into force immediately.