European governments could have done more to prevent a vehicle emissions cheating scandal and they could have acted faster to enact stricter car engine emissions tests. That is what the European Parliament has concluded, which also blamed the European Commission for dropping the ball.
Reuters is reporting that the commission is alleged to have failed in its duty to enforce a ban on those devices that can scale back car-related pollution under certain driving conditions. It is all in the context of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
“We now have a crystal-clear understanding of the failures in the oversight of the car industry that made dieselgate possible: the fraud could have been prevented,” said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a Dutch lawmaker who helped draft the report, as referenced in Reuters.
That non-binding report goes on to say that car companies and regulators are too closely tied and that such a relationship led to VW’s ability to cheat the system. It says that the EU ought to implement new testing for emissions as well as impose greater fines on those manufacturers unable to meet such standards.
Part of the lapse is attributed to the 2008 financial crisis and EU lawmakers not wanting to put VW at a competitive disadvantage.
France, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and Romania are listed in the report, Reuters says. They could have acted more quickly to enforce or enact stricter emissions requirements.
VW has admitted to using devices that could trick regulators into thinking that certain emissions were lower than they actually were. That scheme was eventually uncovered by researchers at West Virginia University. It has led to the criminal prosecutions of some VW executives.
To prevent similar problems, the European Commission now wants new rules on testing and licensing vehicles throughout the continent. That measure would give governments there more powers to do just that. But further oversight won’t come easy.