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Car emissions testing plan announced

The European Commission has published proposals for changing the way that vehicles manufactured in the EU are checked for compliance with emissions requirements.

Under the proposals, published on 27 January, the Commission will gain the power to use its Joint Research Centre to test cars that have already been placed on the market, and will have the power to impose penalties on manufacturers and testers and initiate recalls. At the moment, compliance is required only before a vehicle receives market approval and is carried out largely by for-profit companies. 

The Commission also proposes that member states themselves should also be allowed to take action against vehicles that have been approved by testing authorities from another member state, and it says that manufacturers should no longer directly pay testing companies, but will instead cover the costs of this through payments to member state governments. Testing companies should also be independently audited, the Commission proposes. 

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