Hans-Olaf Henkel (ALFA/ ECR): Verheugen bends and admits his mistake

Aug 30, 2016


During the hearing of the Committee of Inquiry into Emission Measurements in the Automotive Sector, former European Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Günther Verheugen conceded that the ban of defeat devices had not been defined precisely enough. Following the questions by the ALFA MEP and ECR spokesman Hans-Olaf Henkel, Verheugen admitted his mistake. “For the first time in the European Parliament, I have experienced a politician acknowledging his error“, commented Henkel.

Back in the Commission, Verheugen bore the responsibility for the EU regulation prohibiting the defeat devices. “He indirectly accuses automobile manufacturers of misunderstanding the legislation. They should have sensed that what he meant is a total ban of switching off emission cleaning systems under various real driving conditions“, adds Henkel.

“A clearer definition would most likely not preclude the VW scandal from happening. However, the committee of inquiry as well as the debate on whether other car producers such as Opel, Fiat or Renault fulfil current EU legislation would not be needed, if Verheugen introduced clear legal conditions concerning real driving emission testing”, concludes the MEP Henkel.