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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tighter type approval rules for cars - European Commission

Tighter rules for cars were on the agenda at the weekly meeting of the Commission last Wednesday (27 January). The revisions to type approval legislation would make testing more independent and increase surveillance of cars already in circulation. Automotive News Europe carries a more detailed report.

The proposal for a Regulation on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles adopted by the Commission maintains the principle of mutual recognition, which is central to the EU Single Market and under which approval for VW products is granted exclusively by the German authorities, but seeks to correct the flaws in the system. It will introduce greater EU-level control over the national authorities which at certify vehicles' compliance. This will not only strengthen the system but will also complement efforts
to introduce more robust emissions testing, known as Real Driving Emissions testing.

To enhance the independence of the testing process, the Commission has made concrete proposals designed to avoid financial links between technical services and manufacturers. It is feared that these links could lead to conflicts of interest and compromise the independence of testing. Member States and the Commission will also carry out spot-checks on vehicles already on the market, so non-compliance will be detected earlier and remedial action can be taken against non-compliant vehicles.

The Commission will take powers to suspend, restrict or withdraw approval from test facilities that are underperforming or fail properly to apply the rules.

Automotive News Europe carries a report from Bloomberg that Matthias Mueller, VW's new CEO, called on 25 January for new emissions tests to close the gap between laboratory and real-world results, an issue which VW brought to general attention. Mr Mueller is quoted as saying "The industrywide discrepancies between official test results and actual usage is no longer tolerable," according to a statement from VW. "We, the industry, need to take a new path."

In another report, ANE tells us that VW has obtained approval from

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