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Car emissions inquiry committee members and remit approved

Car emissions test being carried out
Car emissions test being carried out

Parliament appointed the 45 members of a committee of inquiry into car makers’ breaches of EU rules on car emission tests in a vote on Thursday. The committee will also investigate alleged failures by EU member states and the European Commission to enforce EU standards. It will present an interim report within 6 months, and a final one within 12 months, of starting its work.

MEPs approved the composition of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS), which will hold its first meeting in February to name its chairman and co-chairs.

The committee will investigate:

1. The Commission’s alleged failure to keep test cycles under review,

2. The alleged failure of the Commission and member states’ authorities to take proper and effective action to enforce and oversee enforcement of the explicit ban on “defeat devices”

3. The Commission’s alleged failure to introduce tests reflecting the real-world driving conditions,

4. The member states’ alleged failure to lay down provisions on effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties applicable to manufacturers for infringements, and

5. Whether the Commission and the member states had evidence of the use of “defeat mechanisms” before the scandal emerged on 18 September 2015.

Note for editors

The inquiry follows the discovery in the US that the Volkswagen group used software to drive down NOx emissions cosmetically during tests. Parliament voted a resolution in October calling for a thorough investigation into the role and responsibilities of the Commission and member states and urging them to disclose what they knew of these breaches and what actions had been taken.

Procedure:  Legislative resolution

European Parliament decision on setting up a Committee of Inquiry into emission measurements in the automotive sector, its powers, numerical strength and term of office
Press release 27-10-2015: MEPs ask EU Commission to monitor investigations into car emission test fraud
Environment committee chairman Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT): “we want a real assessment of emissions”
EuroparlTV: which way now for emission tests?
EP research: beyond the VW case
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