Brussels – The European Commission on Friday said it had intimated the 28 European Union member countries to widen their investigations into vehicle emissions potential following Volkswagen’s admission of rules breaches.
The Europe’s biggest motor manufacturer admitted in September that it had rigged U.S. diesel emissions tests to mask the level of emissions of health-harming nitrogen oxides.
In a deepening scandal, the German company said that it had also understated the fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, of no fewer than 800,000 vehicles.
In a letter, the commission said that it was not aware of any irregularities concerning carbon dioxide values, but it sought the support of EU governments “to find out how and why this could happen”.
It said that it had already contacted Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA), responsible for approving the conformity of new car types.
An official of the commission confirmed the letter, adding that the commission had asked national governments “to widen their investigations to establish potential breaches of EU law”.
“Public trust is at stake; we need all the facts on the table and rigorous enforcement of existing legislation,” the official said.
With vehicle testing in the EU overseen by national authorities, the bloc’s executive body, the commission, is reliant on each country to enforce rules.
This arrangement has come under criticism from environmentalists because on-road tests have consistently shown vehicles emitting more pollutants than laboratory tests.
Car manufacturers as a major source of jobs and exports are a powerful lobby group in the EU.
The letter, dated Nov. 5 and signed by Industry Commissioner, Elzbieta Bienkowksa, and Climate and Energy Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, asked for information by the end of November.
‘’The information is all about any evidence or information concerning possible irregularities related to the certification of CO2 emissions values.
“If relevant, how many of the vehicles that were newly registered in your country in the calendar years 2012, 2013 and 2014 were possibly affected,” the letter stated. (Reuters/NAN)