Germany wants to carry out unannounced emissions tests on all automakers to help restore confidence in the industry that was shattered by the Volkswagen cheating scandal.
“There will be controls on vehicles in the style of doping tests [for athletes],” Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told the Bild newspaper. “Unannounced and every year.”
One way to carry out the random tests would be to select models from car rental companies, the newspaper said. Technicians who carry out the tests would be rotated to ensure transparency.
Volkswagen has found itself dragged into a new row with US regulators, this time over safety recalls.
Papers released last week in the US show the German car maker did not want a general recall of models fitted with Takata airbags. It said the models made in Germany did not suffer the casing failures of those which used Takata airbags made in Mexico and the US.
But under pressure from US safety regulators it last week recalled 850,000 models from 2006 for inspections and replacements.
Also last week there were German media reports that very senior executives at Volkswagen were warned about likely US diesel engine inspections and tests in 2014, more than a year before the scandal broke.