European Parliament votes to prevent next Dieselgate
PRESS RELEASE - 04.04.2017
The EU Parliament has just adopted landmark measures to prevent another Dieselgate scandal from repeating in Europe. The Parliament’s plenary endorsed a draft law seeking to beef up the current, flawed car testing system. In a separate vote, MEPs also called for affected Dieselgate consumers to be financially compensated.
MEPs have backed the following measures that BEUC and its members have been advocating for:
- A stronger role for the EU Commission to test cars and ensure Member States are applying rules equally across Europe.
- Checks on a minimum of 20% of new models once on the road across Europe.
- Greater transparency of test results which would mean that car manufacturers, Member States and testing bodies are held more accountable.
- A split in the financial relationships between car makers and privately owned testing services.
- Compensation for consumers impacted by the Dieselgate scandal – such as VW owners - and that a recall is not a sufficient form of reparation.
- Car maker liability if consumers face damages as a result of non-conformity.
- The Commission to come forward with a proposal for an EU wide collective redress scheme for consumers.
Monique Goyens, BEUC’s Director General, has commented:
“Today’s vote shows the Parliament has drawn the right lessons from the emissions scandal and is standing on the consumer’s side. Consumers expected EU legislators to acknowledge the malpractices of the car industry and the failure of Member States to properly test cars. The opaque testing system currently favours carmakers over consumers and this vote helps reverse the tide.
“The EU Parliament has heeded our call for robust measures to fix the flawed testing system. More car checks, better oversight of national authorities and cutting the financial ties between car makers and inspectors are crucial measures that are needed to avoid another Dieselgate. However, it is a missed opportunity that the Parliament rejected the idea of an EU agency to oversee car testing, which would be the ultimate way to improve the system.
“Following the relentless calls from consumer organisations in Europe, the EU Parliament has said loud and clear that affected consumers should be compensated for having been sold defective cars. Volkswagen must accept this message and get on with adequately compensating the 8.5 million affected motorists in Europe. These consumers have been duped about the performance of the cars, they are concerned about the vehicles losing value and a growing number of VW owners have been complaining that the recall has damaged their car. They deserve to be treated fairly and compensated for the appalling way they have been treated by the company.”
The vote on the investigation into the emissions scandal has also positively called for a reform to EU rules on eco-labelling of cars. The Council now needs to work with the Parliament to adopt a final agreement.
BEUC letter to all MEPs ahead of the vote, March 2017
Our press statement ahead of the vote about Euroconsumers campaign
Our infographic ‘The great vehicle testing maze’
Our report on Member State positions