Vehicle type approval shake-up announced

  • February 10, 2016

In response to the dieselgate scandal, the European Commission last month proposed major changes to the oversight of the technical environmental and safety compliance checks new car models must undergo before being approved for sale on the European market.

The proposal designed, in the Commission’s words, ‘to correct the flaws in the system’ has three stated aims:

  • Reinforce the independence and quality of testing that allows a car to be placed on the market;
  • Introduce an effective market surveillance system to control the conformity of cars already in circulation;
  • Reinforce the type approval system with greater European oversight.

If the proposals are approved, the Commission will gain the right to initiate vehicle recalls across the entire EU market. Until now, this was the responsibility of the national approval authority that approved the vehicle in the first place. The move will give the EU authorities similar powers to NHTSA in the US.

The European Commission’s RAPEX database lists 135 passenger car recalls in 2015 due to defects that carried a risk of serious injury. Many recalls covered several models.