EU Internal Policy

Did EU officials keep quiet about VW’s dodgy exhaust fume data before scandal broke?

EU officials knew about German car manufacturer VW’s dodgy emissions data five years before the scandal broke, according to new claims by German media.

VW emissions testGETTY VW emissions test

Internal documents from October 2010 appear to show that discrepancies between actual exhaust fume figures and those that   were published were well-known.And “wide-spread usage of certain diminution techniques for diesel vehicles” was also common knowledge with officials, according to a report in German newspaper Zeit.In May 2012 a commission delegate apparently sent an email to several European ministries with details of a meeting of a task force set up to monitor exhaust fume test proceedings.

VW badgeGETTY   VW badge

The delegate said car manufacturers had opposed certain exhaust fume tests and the assumption that the goal was to “leave the doors open” for the circumvention of emissions test cycles was mentioned.And while the EU commission insists it knew nothing about illegal practices, Zeit said an EU industry commissioner was tipped off about software manipulation in 2012.VW admitted in September 2015 that it built in illegal software to reduce the emission of toxic nitric oxides during standardised tests in about 11 million vehicles.

Fuel pumpsGETTY   Fuel pumps

VW carGETTY   VW car

MPs have described the company’s failure to compensate UK owners of cars affected by the emissions scandal as “deeply unfair”.Owners can get affected diesel vehicles repaired but in the US, where the scam was uncovered, they can also claim up to $10,000 (£7,400).The Transport Select Committee also said the Government had been too slow to investigate whether VW should be prosecuted in the UK for the scandal.

The Government insisted it was pushing the firm “to ensure they take action”.

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