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Germany to create new emissions watchdog in wake of VW diesel crisis

Germany to create new emissions watchdog in wake of VW diesel crisis

Germany to create new emissions watchdog in wake of VW diesel crisis
June 29
00:11 2017


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Germany will create a new emissions organization in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel crisis, Reuters reports. The watchdog agency will aim for greater accuracy and transparency in emissions tests and will partner with environmental and consumer groups, in addition to government ministries and automakers. Until now, the KBA arm of the transport ministry has been tasked with vehicle testing — the KBA will keep the role of certifying new vehicle models, while ceding emission policing duties to the new organization.

The transport ministry indicated that the new agency will test approximately 70 car models a year in real-world conditions rather than in static tests, Reuters notes, and will publish fuel consumption and emissions data to consumers.

The creation of a new agency in Germany follows several concurrent crises that have diminished the public and the government’s faith in automakers and the transport ministry, with the latest being the probe into Mercedes-Benz diesels supplied to the U.S.. The announcement of a new emissions-testing organization also follows Germany’s ongoing spat with the government of Italy in regards to a number of Fiat models sold in the EU, which has resulted in threats of EU court action aimed at the government of Italy.

 






The ongoing retrofits of 8.5 million diesel cars from several VW Automotive Group brands, and the growing uncertainty over the accuracy of emissions tests have also contributed to calls for a new watchdog group. The announcement of a new agency comes two months before the second anniversary of the outbreak of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, which plunged one of the world’s largest automakers into a crisis while revealing the limitations and vulnerabilties of static emissions tests in Europe and the U.S.

Reuters notes that plans for a new agency were revealed days after the transport ministry pushed several automakers to update emissions software in up to 12 million vehicles currently on the roads amid plans to close emissions loopholes, a campaign that is estimated to cost at least one billion euros.


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