Germany Wants the EU to Impose Stricter Rules Over Car Emissions

June 6, 2016, 6:57 PM UTC
New Automobiles Inside Volkswagen AG's Delivery Tower As Emissions Crisis Financial Impact Continues
A Passat TSI plug-in-hybrid automobile, left, and a Volkswagen e-Golf electric automobile, produced by Volkswagen AG (VW), are transported on elevation platforms as new VW automobiles sit in storage bays inside one of the automaker's glass delivery towers at the VW factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Friday, April 29, 2016. Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the investment vehicle of the billionaire family that controls VW, stuck to a goal of making acquisitions beyond the beleaguered carmaker, even as its dwindling cash on hand reduces the scope of possible transactions. Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Photograph by Krisztian Bocsi — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Germany wants stricter European Union rules on emissions from motor vehicles, the transport ministry said on Monday, confirming a report by the financial daily Handelsblatt.

The proposal came after a German investigative committee last month listed 30 car models that showed suspiciously high levels of CO2 emissions and would require further testing.

Germany subjected diesel models to tests after Volkswagen admitted it had cheated U.S. emissions tests by installing software capable of deceiving regulators in up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

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The Handelsblatt report of a German call for tougher rules cited a document prepared for a meeting of EU transport ministers in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

The thrust of the proposal appeared to be to toughen CO2 rules enough to help defeat or deter the use of technology in car engines that can outwit emissions tests.

The document also said carmakers should be forced to disclose what kind of technology they use to protect engines in punishing driving conditions and how such software works.

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said last month that General Motors’ Opel division had admitted that its Zafira model includes engine software that switches off exhaust treatment systems under certain speed and air pressure conditions in order to protect the engine. But Opel said such technology was legal.

The case is distinct from the emissions case involving Volkswagen, which concerned the rigging of exhaust emissions tests as opposed to shutting down exhaust reduction systems under certain conditions.

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