A leaked letter shows the EU industry commissioner has issued a stark warning to transport ministers that the consequences of the Dieselgate scandal, and the failure to clean up dirty diesel cars still on our roads, are contributing to a city air pollution crisis.
The leaked letter, seen by Transport & Environment (T&E), stresses the need for carmakers to “rapidly reduce” NOx emissions of the diesel fleet in Europe; and that in the absence of this cities are being increasingly forced to resort to “local diesel bans”.
In the letter, Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska criticises member states for their failure to identify and clean up grossly polluting vehicles, writing that “further improvements of national market surveillance capacities are clearly needed…”
She also makes clear the scandal has now spread beyond Volkswagen to “many other brands” which show too high emissions in real-driving conditions.
Following the recent announcement that Daimler is to recall three million vehicles for software upgrades , the commissioner asks ministers to be proactive and make “rapid progress” in bringing down NOX emissions in cities.
Non-compliant cars should be removed from the market and circulation “as soon as possible,” she writes. The Commissioner also wants all non-compliant VW cars fixed by the end of 2017 or withdrawn from the road when they are inspected in 2018.