Brussels, Belgium - The European Union's executive has proposed wholesale changes to tests for new car models to crack down on excessive emissions and avoid scandals such as the one that hit Volkswagen and the automobile sector in 2015.
Emissions from cars on the road in the EU have been found to be four to five times above the official limits. That's largely because the current tests are done in labs, where carmakers are able to cut corners to pass. The back seats might be pulled out to reduce weight, for example, or the doors taped over to reduce air drag.
Under the new rules, the member states and the EU Commission would be allowed to carry out spot tests on cars that have already been released onto the market.
The EU also wants to do away with a system whereby car companies can pay technical services to carry out the testing and thereby cut any possible financial links between the industry and the testers.