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S&Ds tighten up rules to prevent another Dieselgate scandal


In response to the Dieselgate scandal, which had revealed serious loopholes in the system set up for approving and surveilling new cars, the Socialists and Democrats had taken the lead in tightening up the rules to better protect consumers and the environment, and restore faith in the car industry. The European Parliament will today debate and tomorrow vote on the new robust rules the S&D Group was instrumental in bringing about.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Christel Schaldemose, MEP and S&D negotiator on type-approval, said:
“I am proud that, against the resistance of global corporations and some governments, the Socialists and Democrats succeeded in pushing through robust new rules and strong EU supervision that will prevent emissions-cheating in the future. From 2020 on, the cars consumers buy will be safer and cleaner.
“Dieselgate was one of the most audacious corporate frauds in history. Some Diesel cars emit up to 40 times the permissible levels of oxides of nitrogen. That is not only illegal, it is also deadly: 75.000 people die every year from exposure to these dangerous emissions.
“With the new rules, there will be a stronger EU role on overseeing on the requirements and tests cars have to pass before they are allowed on the market. Furthermore, the market surveillance of cars already on the road will be much tighter than it is today to catch any foul play. The Commission will play a key role in these audits to ensure that the rules are applied in a fair, strict and uniform manner in all EU countries. We would have preferred an independent agency to fulfil this ask, but what counts is the content and not the form.  Parliament will be the Commission’s watchdog to make sure they live up to their responsibilities to consumers and act independently in cases of wrongdoing.
“An online data base will increase the flow of information and transparency. Also, tough fines and penalties will be in place for any car manufacturers who are found cheating: The Commission will be able to impose administrative fines of up to 30.000 euros per car.”
Nicola Danti, MEP and S&D spokesperson on internal market and consumer protection, added:
“After the Dieselgate news scandal broke two years ago, VW was forced to pay large amounts of compensation to US consumers, while European consumers got nothing. This is unacceptable. We Socialists and Democrats have been pushing for an EU compensation tool and we are pleased that the Commission has presented a proposal that will give consumer groups the right to seek compensation on behalf of large numbers of customers; a legal avenue not yet available in most EU countries. Now, we will make sure that the compensation tool will be even more ambitious and that it will really benefit consumers and not law firms. As Socialists and Democrats we won’t accept another Dieselgate scandal.”