MEPs back plan to stop another car emissions scandal

09-Feb-2017 @ 12:15

Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

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Daniel Dalton Daniel Dalton

MEPs back plan to stop another car emissions scandal

New measures designed to ensure vehicles continue to meet emissions and safety standards once out of the showroom have been supported by MEPs today.

A direct response to the VW emissions scandal, the revised market surveillance rules are being piloted through the European Parliament by Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton.

They demand that each year Member States test 20 per cent of the car models on the market in their country. These will be of various ages and so ensure that vehicles still meet minimum standards when in use.

The report was approved today by members of the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee (IMCO) and is expected to be considered by the full Parliament in April.

West Midlands MEP Mr Dalton said: "When buying a car we expect it to perform to the manufacturer's specifications. This legislation reassures consumers that will be the case.

"One of the reasons the car emissions scandal went undetected for so long is that the current arrangements for market surveillance are at best patchy and at worst ineffective. Whilst we can never guarantee another VW will not happen again, my report, combined with the real driving emissions tests for new cars approved by the European Parliament last year, make it very unlikely that any manufacturer would take such a risk in future."

Under the proposed legislation, Member States must secure Commission approval for their national market surveillance programmes, which will be subject to regular review. Cars can be tested at the roadside, be drawn from rental fleets or procured in other ways that do not inconvenience consumers. The Commission will be able to undertake its own testing when necessary and issue EU-wide model recalls and levy fines on manufacturers in the event of failures.

Mr Dalton added: "By addressing the loopholes that allowed the emissions scandal to take place we will begin to rebuild consumer confidence both in our testing systems and in the manufacturers who build our cars."

Conservative MEP Vicky Ford, who chairs the IMCO Committee, welcomed today's vote.

She said: "Buying a car is the single largest purchase most people ever face. These reforms are vital to restore consumer trust and hold manufacturers to account.

"Achieving this deal has involved deep and detailed work across Europe which was led by a British negotiator. I hope that the new relationship between the UK and the EU post Brexit will enable continued practical co-operation on issues of this nature."

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