Car emissions and safety: Commission welcomes Member States’ agreement on stricter rules

The Commission welcomes the agreement reached today by Member States on its legislative proposal to ensure that car manufacturers comply strictly with all EU safety, environmental and production requirements. Proposed by the Commission in January 2016, the new rules represent a complete overhaul of the so-called car type approval framework: the system which allows cars to be placed on the market. Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market and Industry, said: “Almost two years into the emissions scandal, we continue to hear of new allegations, revelations and investigations. It is high time that we have a credible, watertight car type approval system in place. We owe it to our citizens just as we owe it to car manufacturers which did not resort to cheating”. The Commission proposal for a Regulation on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles aims to ensure more independent vehicle testing and more checks on cars already in circulation. The proposal also foresees greater EU supervisory powers over national authorities, test centres and manufacturers, including the possibility for the Commission to impose fines on manufacturers. It also includes an obligation on car manufacturers to grant relevant authorities access to their emissions software protocol. Following progress in the European Parliament, the Council agreement paves the way for the start of so-called trilogue negotiations with a view to a common agreement. The Regulation will complement other important steps taken by the Commission, such as the introduction of more robust and realistic testing methods for measuring both nitrogen oxides (NOx) and CO2 emissions from cars. For more information on EU legislation on vehicle type approval and on emissions, see MEMO/16/4269.