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EU improves system to test cars after Dieselgate

07 December 2017
by BEUC -- last modified 07 December 2017

Today, the European Parliament, Member States and Commission reached an agreement to reform the system for approving cars before they go on sale and checking them when on the market. While the agreement does not fully solve the issues with CO2 emissions of cars, it represents progress compared to the current, flawed system.


According to the deal, Member States will have to carry out checks on at least one in every 40,000 newly registered vehicles, and 20 percent of those checks will have to include emissions tests. This is less than what BEUC and the European Parliament had called for, but nevertheless a step forward compared to the current situation.

It is positive that the EU will now undertake a regular audit of each national type-approval authority's work. The emissions scandal demonstrated that strong EU oversight over national type-approval authorities is necessary. This is to ensure that European consumers enjoy the same level of protection across the EU. Audits will also help prevent national regulators giving their own car makers preferential treatment.

Monique Goyens, BEUC Director-General, commented:

"We are content that the EU has set minimum targets for checking cars when they are in use, especially considering national inaction in this area. More European oversight of national authorities should also help to eliminate conflicts of interest that might exist in the EU's Member States."

"But the EU can still do more for consumers. A void is the lack of a test for real-world CO2 emissions. This is much-needed as the gap between laboratory and real-world simulations of CO2 emissions stands at over 40%. Such a situation cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we urge policy-makers to resolve it immediately."

BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for its members and our main task is to represent them at European level and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. BEUC investigates EU decisions and developments likely to affect consumers, with a special focus on five areas identified as priorities by our members: Financial Services, Food, Digital Rights, Consumer Rights & Enforcement and Sustainability.

The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)