"We need to put in place common European car emission tests which resemble real driving conditions as closely as possible. At the same time, let the VW case serve as a warning about the risks we take when we impose unrealistic goals without putting effective control measures in place. Ambitions are good, but first and foremost we need to have a pragmatic approach", said Françoise Grossetête MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
The European Parliament has asked the European Commission a number of questions on the VW case. The case began last month when the US Government's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revealed that almost 500,000 VW and Audi diesel cars sold in the USA were rigged by the company to artificially lower the amount of NOx emissions while being tested. Since then, VW has revealed that a total of 11 million cars are affected - not only in the USA, but also in Europe and elsewhere.
Françoise Grossetête stressed that legislators have to tread very carefully and not draw drastic conclusions like, for instance, sounding the death knell of the diesel engine.
"We have to prevent fraud and scandals like this, but we also have to bear in mind that Europe has a real technological advantage in clean diesel engines and that many citizens with modest incomes depend on the fuel economy in diesel-powered cars. We cannot bury the whole European automotive industry in reaction to this", she said.
She also called upon the European Commission to act on industrial policy: "This scandal highlights the lack of vision in industrial policy. We have issued endless declarations and working papers, but no follow-ups. It's now time to put our feet on the accelerator and put in place a common industrial policy", concluded Grossetête.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States