Report: Germany, France, Britain lobbied to keep emissions loopholes


Germany, France and Britain lobbied the European Commission to keep loopholes that allowed Volkswagen – and potentially other car makers – to record lower readings in emissions tests, a report said on Thursday.

The three nations “mounted a push to carry over loopholes” from the current testing system, devised in 1970 and updated in the 1990s, to a new UN-backed World Light Vehicles Test Procedure scheduled to replace it in 2017, the Guardian said, citing leaked documents.

“It is unacceptable that governments which rightly demand an EU inquiry into VW’s rigging of air pollution tests are simultaneously lobbying behind the scenes to continue the rigging of CO2 emissions tests,” Greg Archer, clean vehicles expert at the thinktank Transport and Environment, told the newspaper.

“CO2 regulations should not be weakened by the back door through test manipulations,” Archer said.

Volkswagen’s chief executive resigned on Wednesday after the company admitted using software to manipulate exhaust emissions tests for diesel vehicles in the United States.

Archer has warned that the scandal in the United States is “just the tip of the iceberg” and is likely to engulf other manufacturers and other markets.

“The VW scandal in the US, and what will follow in Europe as more evidence emerges, demonstrates the entire system of testing vehicles is not fit for purpose,” Archer said earlier this week.