European Commission statement on air pollutant car emissions

Source: Press release – European Commission statement on air pollutant car emissions

Brussels, 24 September 2015

European Commission calls for full disclosure, zero tolerance and strict compliance with EU rules on pollutant emissions


In the wake of revelations that car manufacturer Volkswagen used a “defeat device” software to circumvent emissions standards for certain air pollutants, the  Commission calls on national authorities to look into the implications for vehicles sold in Europe and ensure that EU pollutant emission standards are scrupulously respected.

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, said: “Our message is clear: zero tolerance on fraud and rigorous compliance with EU rules. We need full disclosure and robust pollutant emissions tests in place.”

The Commission invites all Member States to carry out the necessary investigations at national level and report back. The Commission is offering to facilitate the exchange of information between Member States. We need to have a full picture of how many vehicles certified in the EU were fitted with defeat devices, which are banned by the Euro 5/6 Regulation 715/2007/EC. We will discuss this matter in detail with the national Type Approval Authorities in the coming days.

Looking ahead, we count on Member States to swiftly agree on the final measures needed so that measurements of air pollutant emissions used for the delivery of a vehicle’s type approval reflect emissions in real driving conditions and cannot be fooled by deceitful applications. A new Real Driving Emission (RDE) test procedure will be phased in from early 2016, complementing the current laboratory based testing. But we still need to find agreement on the type approval treatment in case of major divergence between the results of the laboratory and real driving pollutant emissions tests. The agreement on this package, in addition to the already adopted RDE test procedures, will allow the EU to have ambitious and robust real driving emissions testing scheme in place.

In addition, Commissioner Bieńkowska has invited the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council to put the issue on the agenda of the 1 October Competitiveness Council.

A technical briefing (off-the-record, accredited journalists only) on EU rules in the area of vehicle emissions standards will be organised on Friday 25 September at 12.30 CET