Thursday, 1 October 2015
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
National Car Test
266. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the detection rate of excess omissions from Volkswagen and Audi vehicles registered since 5 July 2008 in national car test centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33738/15]
267. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the extent to which national car test regulations concerning emissions standards have been circumvented by the fitting of software in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles registered since 1 July 2008; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33739/15]
268. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the implications for motorists who are owners of Volkswagen and Audi diesel vehicles affected by the recent revelation that software is being used to give false readings of emissions, when the vehicles are being tested in laboratory conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33740/15]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 to 268, inclusive, together.
Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006), the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has overall responsibility for the operation, oversight, development, quality assurance and delivery of the National Car Testing Service (NCTS).
The recent Volkswagen disclosure relates to laboratory pollution emission testing during the Type Approval Testing procedure. The disclosure applies solely to emitted pollutants, centred primarily on nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel engines.
I am advised that the level of NOx emissions is not tested as part of the NCT current testing regime as it is not part of the criteria that is specified under the European Roadworthiness Directive. The results of NCT tests by make and model of vehicle for 2013 and 2014 are available on the RSA website.
This is a new and emerging issue and my Department is working closely with other Departments and Agencies in monitoring developments as the matter evolves, to fully understand the impact of this disclosure on the Irish market. The situation relating to car emission controls is to be discussed today by the relevant Member State Ministers at a meeting of the European Competitiveness Council, the outcome of which is awaited.