27 Jan 16

European Commission proposes crackdown on car industry

The European Commission has proposed a set of measures that would result in stricter control of the automotive industry. The proposals demonstrate to what extent trust between Europe's car makers and regulators has been damaged by 'Dieselgate'. 
One proposal would enable the EC to levy a fine on manufacturers of €30,000 per vehicle that does not abide by emissions standards. EU authorities would also have the power to suspend, restrict or withdraw licenses for car testing centres if these flout EU laws, or alternatively, to fine them.
Another proposal would force manufacturers to hand over vehicle software protocol data to regulators. Scientists commissioned by the EC would also have the authority to carry out random vehicle checks. 
Elżbieta Bieńkowska (pictured), the European Commissioner responsible for automotive industry regulation, said the proposals would “raise the quality and independence of vehicle testing and improve the oversight of cars already in circulation”.
The new rules would also require each of the member states' national car approval authorities to report to Brussels on the breaches they have ascertained and the sanctions that have consequently been handed down.
The EC itself would have the power to order vehicle recalls and even withdrawals. The EC also wants to end conflicts of interest, whereby vehicle testing centres are paid by car makers, by requiring a monitored fee structure for payments, and government oversight of the results.
Authored by: Frank Jacobs