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Dieselgate: Tajani ignored evidence of defeat devices, say S&Ds


06 Sep 2016


Climate & Environment

Today members of the parliamentary Committee of inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) heard the testimony of former commissioners Janez Potocnik (Environment) and Antonio Tajani (Industry). 
Through the almost 4-hour session, it became clear that the European Commission had more than enough information regarding the possible use of defeat devices by the car industry, but failed to look into the issue further.

S&D spokesperson on the Dieselgate scandal, Seb Dance, said:

"Commissioner Tajani ignored growing warnings, including a letter from his colleague, former Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik, that car companies could be using defeat devices to cheat emissions tests. Clearly, he didn't think to ask why the numbers - the gap between emissions recorded in the lab tests and on the road - didn't add up and conveniently preferred to believe that the problem did not exist.

"This begs the question that if Mr Tajani thought the problem was limited to the weaknesses of the lab test, why did he oversee a significant delay in the introduction of real world testing for cars?"

S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt, who chairs the EMIS committee, said:

“Former commissioner Potočnik was right about the improper distribution of responsibilities within the Commission. It is not appropriate that the same services are responsible for both the economic performance of the sector in question and the environmental regulation linked to that activity. If the environmental services would have been responsible for the development and enforcement of cars emission legislation (as they are for the environmental legislation for other sectors), the failure to detect and ban defeat devices might not have taken place.”


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