Minister Mansveld advocates quick introduction of new and reliable car testing in Europe

Europe must quickly take steps to put an end to cheating involving the admission requirements for cars. ‘Both consumers and the government are being misled and that is unacceptable,’ according to Environment Minister Mansveld. To make the tests reliable, the Netherlands is immediately sharing with other Member States and the Commission all data on nitrogen oxide emissions collected in recent years by the independent research institute TNO from studies involving test cars. ‘Research into possible cheating on the part of car manufacturers on the European market should begin immediately,’ Ms Mansveld wrote in a letter brief to Commissioner Vella (Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and Commissioner Katainen (Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness). The possibility of a European recall should also be investigated. 

‘This cheating demonstrates that Europe should accelerate the introduction of the new Real Driving Emissions (EDR) tests. Moreover, we should not give in to pressure from the automotive industry to introduce EDR testing slowly, in phases, with “stripped-down” requirements,’ said Ms Mansveld.  ‘I am confident that when the Member States and the Commission work well together, we can accelerate the introduction of effective and reliable rules and criteria. Low levels of nitrogen oxide emissions for diesel vehicles on the road are vital to improving air quality for Europe’s residents.’

For several years, the Netherlands has been performing road tests rather than conducting tests in a laboratory environment. These road tests regularly show emissions that are five to six times higher than the limit. A portable emissions measurement system (PEMS) is used in the tests which have delivered a large amount of data that would be useful in arriving at conclusions quickly in the European research announced by the Commission. The Netherlands is also considering expanding the ongoing research to include the detection of the manipulation software discovered recently in the USA.