The Committee of inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector (EMIS) held its first hearing this week whereby it heard Ms Delilah Al-Khudhairy, director of the Joint Research Center (JRC - the European Commission's science and knowledge service) and Mr Vicente Franco, researcher at the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT – a non-profit organization providing research as well as technical and scientific analysis to environmental regulators).

These representatives are the first to give their account of how the incumbents in the sector dealt with the emissions’ testing and to be submitted to questions by the Committee. The aim of the Committee – which selected Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D, Belgium) as its chair on 2 March – is to investigate:

  • the Commission’s alleged failure to keep test cycles under review,
  • the alleged failure of the Commission and member states’ authorities to take proper and effective action to enforce and oversee enforcement of the explicit ban on “defeat devices”,
  • the Commission’s alleged failure to introduce tests reflecting the real-world driving conditions,
  • the member states’ alleged failure to lay down provisions on effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties applicable to manufacturers for infringements, and
  • whether the Commission and the member states had evidence of the use of “defeat mechanisms” before the scandal emerged on 18 September 2015.

An interim report is scheduled to be produced within 6 months and a final one within 12 months after the Committee started its work.

The next hearing of the EMIS Committee is scheduled on 28 April 2016..