BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany wants to carry out unannounced emissions tests on all carmakers, Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said on Sunday, aiming to reinstate confidence in the industry that was shattered by the Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) cheating scandal.
“There will be controls on vehicles in the style of doping tests (for athletes),” Dobrindt told the newspaper Bild. “Unannounced and every year.”
One way to carry out the random tests would be to select models from car rental companies, the newspaper said. Technicians who carry out the tests would be rotated to ensure transparency.
Bild said a draft proposal on the new measures would be presented to the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Thursday. It would also call on the government to present plans to encourage motorists to switch to electric cars.
Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, admitted in September it had cheated U.S. emissions tests by installing software capable of deceiving regulators in up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide. The admission wiped billions of euros off VW’s market value and forced out its long-time CEO.
The company has said only a small group of employees was responsible for cheating on U.S. diesel emissions tests and there was no indication board members were involved in what has become the biggest business crisis in its history.
“I expect Volkswagen to fully disclose the procedures that led to the manipulation,” Dobrindt told Bild.
German media reported in December that Germany planned to review emissions and fuel usage of Volkswagen diesel vehicles in a second testing round once the company has installed fixes in cars caught up in a cheating scandal.
Volkswagen has set aside 6.7 billion euros ($7.38 billion) to help cover the costs of diesel recalls and another 2 billion euros for compensation payments related to its manipulations of carbon dioxide emission levels.
Writing by Joseph Nasr, editing by Larry King