Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic ocean have decided they should increase their scrutiny when it comes to automotive emissions testing procedures after Volkswagen AG acknowledged it rigged diesel emissions.
The vows have been met with skepticism by some officials and many environmentalists because they believe they will be met with fierce resistance from the automakers and supplier. The US Environmental Protection Agency has told car manufacturers they could embark on a series of additional probes that could hit “any vehicle” to see if the emission standards under normal road conditions are being met. “We aren’t going to tell them what these tests are. They don’t need to know,” commented Chris Grundler, an EPA official. If any manufacturer is found guilty of tampering with emissions it could face numerous challenges – from product recall costs to higher scrutiny when applying for certifications and possible regulatory fines.
In Europe, Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU commissioner responsible for industry, called for “zero tolerance on fraud and rigorous compliance with EU rules. We need full disclosure and robust pollutant emissions tests in place.” Last week Volkswagen Ag, the largest automaker in the world by sales, admitted it had 11 million vehicles around the globe equipped with software that acts as a method of cheating on emission tests – though it claims that most of them didn’t have the so called “defeat device” switched on. The group has set aside $7.3 billion (6.5 billion euros) to mitigate the costs stemming from the largest scandal the 78-year company has ever faced.