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Car emissions scandal - Parliament investigates if industry tests measure up

Environment 28-02-2017 - 14:31 / Updated: 28-02-2017 - 14:48

Millions of diesel cars from several companies are believed to have been affected by the emissions fixing scandal that erupted in the US in September 2015. In response to those revelations the European Parliament set up an inquiry committee on 2 March 2016 to investigate if there was an issue with emission measurements in the car industry. (Read more: Looking into the car emissions testing scandal )

The inquiry committee investigating the car emissions scandal votes today on its final report and recommendations, which call for stricter controls and implementation at EU level. “We learnt the lessons from the past and we will now do our homework ... so this scandal will never happen again,” said Jens Gieseke, one of the authors of the final report. Watch the video to learn more. (Read more: Car emissions scandal: inquiry committee votes on final report and recommendations)

Parliament’s car emissions inquiry urgently needs more information from the EU Commission, it says in a resolution voted on Tuesday. Half-way through its mandate, the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS), has yet to receive some Commission documents on emission measurements and details of expert group work on vehicle type approval procedures, notes the text. The inquiry’s final report is due in spring 2017. (Read more: Car emissions: MEPs' inquiry gearing up for second half )

The investigation into the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal continues on Tuesday 30 August when the Parliament's inquiry committee questions former commissioner Günter Verheugen, who was responsible for enterprise and industry from 2004 to 2010. Parliament is currently working on new legislation to improve the reliability of car testing. Check out our infographic to find out more on how car emissions are tested. (Read more: MEPs to question former industry commissioner on car emissions measurements )

Every year 430,000 Europeans die prematurely due to air pollution. One of the main sources is road vehicles emitting nitrogen oxides (NOx), including poisonous nitrogen dioxide. Following the Volkswagen scandal, in which the company admitted cheating emission test in the US, Parliament and the Council are considering to update existing emission rules to ensure tests are closer to real driving conditions. (Read more: Car emissions: taking tests out of the lab and onto the road)

The Volkswagen scandal - involving the manipulation of emission tests - exposed the weakness of the current EU car certification system. On Thursday the internal market committee adopted proposals aimed at making this more difficult, including checks on cars already in circulation. The proposals will now need to be approved by all MEPs during an upcoming plenary session. We talked to UK ECR member Daniel Dalton, the MEP in charge of steering these plans through Parliament. (Read more: Emissions scandal: “The key is to make the rules as robust as possible”)

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. (Read more: Emissions scandal: “Member states not keen on strict implementation of legislation”)

Parliament's inquiry committee into car emissions measurements continues its investigation this week by questioning industry representatives as well as former Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. Committee chair Kathleen Van Brempt, a Belgian member of the S&D group, also takes part in a Facebook live session on Thursday from 14.00 CET, giving you the chance to ask her everything you wanted to know about this investigation. (Read more: Inquiry committee to question industry and Commission representatives)

Parliament decided to set up a 45 member inquiry committee to investigate breaches of EU rules on car emission tests and alleged failures by EU member states and the European Commission to enforce EU standards. The committee will present an interim report within 6 months, and a final report within 12 months, of starting its work. (Read more: "Dieselgate": Parliament sets up inquiry committee)

REF. : 20160909TST41703
Former commissioners questioned over emissions scandal

MEPs questioned former EU commissioners to find out what they knew about grossly underestimated emissions.

MEPs discuss emissions testing scandal

Kathleen Van Brempt, chair of Parliament’s inquiry committee, and Krisjanis Karins comment on former Commissioner Verheugen’s long-awaited discussion with the Parliament.

Car manufacturers in the dock

"Never again," Volkswagen tells Parliament's car emissions inquiry. But MEPs are looking for guarantees of more rigorous testing.