Germany asked the European Union to review the vehicle-emissions testing rules so automakers cannot exploit anymore certain ambiguous definitions that allow them to declare lower C02 levels.
The transport ministers from the European Union met in Luxembourg on 7 June to discuss around the recent emissions disclosures, as many automakers have been caught using certain tricks to adjust their diesels’ exhaust systems during the official tests for CO2 and NOx levels. As an excuse, all the indicted companies said they were using such devices just to protect the engines and not for covering the over-the-limit emissions.
During the talks on Tuesday, Germany’s Transport Minister expressed his doubts that such controls “could be fully and solely justified by the need for engine protection,” Bloomberg reports. Therefore, he proposed to add a clause to the EU’s regulatory laws saying that automakers need to explore the “best available technologies” before being allowed to turn off emissions controls system. “Wording this exception more precisely would increase legal certainty,” the minister said.
A spokeswoman for the German Transport Ministry recently said that out of 53 cars tested for illegal software, 30 were showing inexplicably high CO2 emissions. Open and Fiat were already summoned to give further explanations, following media reports over the diesel versions of the Opel Zafira and Fiat 500X. However, FCA’s unit refused to meet with the German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt.
In April, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Opel agreed to voluntarily recall 630,000 Euro-5 and later Euro-6 diesels in the country to update temperature-control setups on their emissions software.
The Transport & Environment Green group recently said that many automakers were likely fitting their diesel-powered cars with the “thermal window” defeat device, which switches off or lowers the effectiveness of the exhaust treatment systems at temperatures below those typically used during laboratory tests.