Barbara Hendricks, the country’s Environment Minister Barbara has said Wednesday the nation should impose stricter emissions standards and new tests need to be introduced as fast as possible to fend off other instances such as the VW diesel emissions scandal.
Volkswagen, the largest automaker in Europe, recognized last month it had rigged US emissions testing procedures for diesel-powered cars and the illegal software known as a defeat device had been fitted inside 11 million autos sold over seven years around the globe. The move has sparked intense regulatory scrutiny as well as a major backlash against diesel technology but also exposed major loopholes and issues with the current regulatory testing procedures both in the US and in Europe. The European Commission now wants to have stricter vehicle testing procedures and European government officials once again met to discuss how to enact real-world measurements of polluting emissions rather than solely use deeply flawed laboratory tests that can easily be manipulated.
Germany’s Hendricks, a member of the Social Democrats (SPD), junior coalition partner to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, claims the emission limits as well as other details need to be agreed upon urgently. “And they need to be so exacting that diesel will really be cleaner due to them,” she added. The official also added that independent tests would need to be introduced, but the automakers should pay for them even as they are conducted by the national authorities. “Companies need to learn that in the long-term they can’t evade environmental protection, which is necessary,” Hendricks further stated.