Bid to recall cars too far off their claimed MPG - report
EU blueprint from VW scandal duo
Published 02/12/2015 | 02:30
The two experts who uncovered the Volkswagen scandal say Europe needs an independent watchdog with powers to recall cars if it's not happy with how manufacturers arrived at their fuel consumption figures.
They warn that Europe is badly trailing the US in enforcing standards on emissions and the duo have come up with a blueprint to end the ever-expanding gap between 'official' and real-world fuel consumption.
In effect, they are saying Europe needs an independent authority to make sure real-world fuel consumption figures and those claimed by carmakers are not worlds apart, as they often are currently.
John German and Peter Mock, who discovered how Volkswagen had cheating devices in their software to fool regulators, have published what amounts to a damning indictment of the current EU system.
In a White Paper just published, the duo compare the vehicle testing and compliance schemes in the EU and the US.
They reveal that the fundamental difference is the lack of independent testing in Europe which is the great strength in the US. They also say the EU's authorities are "more restricted" on enforcement.
It details how carmakers are "increasingly able to exploit tolerances and flexibilities" within the system so they get approval for emission levels that "are not matched by a similar decrease in real-world emission levels". They say that real-world values 'contradict' the official results.
The VW saga, the authors say, "dramatically" highlights an underlying problem with today's vehicle emissions testing and compliance systems.
Their proposals include:
•Establishing a 'neutral' European authority to oversee testing with the power to demand a recall of cars or impose penalties if there were "significant deviations" from testing guidelines.
• Introducing the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) which is regarded as a more realistic of a car's fuel consumption.
• A lower ambient test temperature of 14°C in the EU instead of the 23°C planned under the WLTP.
• Bringing in a test for the efficiency of air con systems.
• Developing consumer websites by providing an EU-wide platform for owners to report everyday experience on fuel consumption.