The European Commission has moved on Tuesday to put additional pressure on the automakers to relent to faster, bigger diesel emissions cuts as they try to harness public outrage stemming from VW’s cheating scandal.
The VW dieselgate scandal in Europe highlights the unprecedented woes of being politically correct – the European regulatory enforcement has to cope with the auto industry’s disagreement against Brussels’ desire to limit polluting emissions that are in reality up to seven times higher than legally allowed. European government officials gathered in Brussels in a drive to restart the troubled strategy of delivering real-world procedural measurements of diesel emissions rather than certifying vehicles through easily manipulated lab tests. Analysts say the results of this meeting might signal what lies ahead for the auto industry that has been trying to slow the adoption of the stricter emission regulations.
The revelation by the US Environmental Protection Agency that Volkswagen had cheated on emissions tests and the admission by the company it had installed the illegal software in up to 11 million vehicles worldwide has sparked an ample public debate and wide regulatory scrutiny over the difference between the official fuel economy and emissions results and the real-world diesel emissions that are excessive across the entire auto industry in Europe. The European politicians have chronically been unable to close the gap and the track record has been unfavorably compared to Washington, which has been policing business better in recent years. “The U.S. has a huge advantage in having its own independent authority, which is something we lack here,” comments Dutch Liberal Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, a member of the European Parliament.