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A Volkswagen being put to the test
A Volkswagen being put to the test

In September 2015, a large-scale hazardous substances emissions fraud by car manufacturer Volkswagen became public. Special software made diesel-powered Volkswagen cars seem less polluting than they were in actual practice. Actual emissions from diesel-powered cars of other car manufacturers turned out to be higher than laboratory values as well. A committee of inquiry of the European Parliament carried out an inquiry into the Volkswagen diesel scandal. In December 2016, the committee published a report with recommendations.

Testing on the road

In order to decrease the difference in emission values resulting from lab testing and from testing on the road, the European Union is introducing new legislation: Real Driving Emissions (RDE). The new RDE-legislation provides for testing hazardous substances emissions from cars and vans under real driving conditions and various environmental temperatures, by means of Portable Emission Measuring Systems (PEMS). The new testing method will be introduced in several phases. RDE-testing is to start on 1 September 2017 for new car models and will be applied to all cars as from 2019.

Air quality

In the Netherlands, the knowledge institute TNO measures the emissions from cars, vans, lorries and buses by order of the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. The TNO measurement results are used to establish air quality values in the Netherlands, among other things.

Fuel consumption booklet

In 2016, the House of Representatives adopted several motions about diesel fraud. The House wants the results of all RDE-tests to be made public in full,  so that car users become acquainted with the exact emission values of their cars. Ms Dijksma wants the maximum permitted emissions from various diesel-powered cars to be published in a so-called "fuel consumption booklet". This booklet will be drawn up by the National Vehicle and Driving Licence Registration Authority (RDW).