Car Testing Powers May Be Scaled Up By Germany Post Volkswagen Controversy


According to sources, the German government is mulling an expansion of testing powers of technical inspectors following the diesel emissions scandal at Volkswagen.

This information was reveled post an accusation made by the northern brand head for the Association for Technical Inspection, Germany, with regard to the government bowing down to pressure created by the automobile industry. This bowing down would prevent inspectors from checking installed software in vehicles. The head insisted that his organization had been emphasizing on testing software for years to no avail. Engine software has always been secretively handled by companies as asserted by leading automobile manufacturers as well. There was no legal possibility for technical inspectors to check engine control and installed software. As a result, there was no way for inspectors to find out any manipulations in nitrogen oxide emissions of diesel cars.

Transport Ministry sources stated that the government was reviewing the allegations and a committee was already examining the possibilities of engine software disclosures being made part of EU legislation. Europe’s approval system for cars has come under fire post the huge admission by Volkswagen under pressure from the United States of America that millions of diesel cars were fitted with software for cheating emissions tests. Volkswagen has also admitted to understating fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in Europe thereafter.

The present system comprises of various national bodies with powers to approve vehicles. There have been calls for a single European body in this context which would cut all links between technical inspectors, national bodies and manufacturers. Manufacturers in the EU can now choose the desired national-type authority to test their cars. Independent re-testing of vehicle emissions has been demanded and these should take place on vehicles in use instead of cars prepared by companies for testing purposes. Testing should take place in real world situations and laboratories alike as per ICCT’s report.

The European Commission has already proposed real-world testing to be made operational from 2016 but this will come into full effect post a two year window for new cars from 2017 onwards.

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