Overhauling EU car approval rules to prevent further emissions scandals 

In a drive to prevent a recurrence of the VW emissions scandal, Parliament will amend EU car “type approval” rules in a vote on Tuesday, to make environmental and safety testing more independent and strengthen national and EU oversight of cars already on the road.

Internal Market MEPs are proposing changes to the EU Commission’s proposal to ensure more thorough auditing of the work of testing centres and national authorities who approve vehicles for sale, step up surveillance of cars already on the road and give the Commission independent oversight powers to check whether national authorities are doing their job and, in some cases, test cars itself.

Under the rules as amended, each year EU member states would have to test at least 20% of the car models placed on the market in their country in the previous year. They would also have to secure EU Commission approval for their “national surveillance programmes”, which would be subject to regular review.

Car manufacturers who are in breach of the rules, e.g. for falsifying test results, would risk administrative fines of up to €30,000 per vehicle, which could be levied by the Commission if no fine is imposed at national level.


This vote will give Parliament’s negotiators, led by Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK), a mandate to start three-way talks (“trilogues”) with the Council and Commission. The Council stills needs to agree its position on this file before trilogues can start.

Note to editors


“Type approval” is the process whereby national authorities certify that a new vehicle model meets all EU safety, environmental and production requirements before it can be placed on the market.

Debate: Tuesday 4 April

Vote:  Tuesday 4 April

Procedure: Co-decision (Ordinary Legislative Procedure), first reading