LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain will launch an inquiry into the system used to approve vehicles, including their emissions levels, in the wake of the scandal engulfing Volkswagen.
Parliament's transport committee will seek evidence on the effectiveness of current arrangements, which involve the testing of aspects such as performance, noise and emissions by national agencies, to see if they meet EU standards.
Pressure is mounting on the EU to create an independent, Europewide body with oversight powers over type approval tests. Europe lacks an EU-wide oversight system for vehicle testing similar to what the U.S. government's Environmental Protection Agency provides.
Under the current system, the EU's 28 nations have the power to approve vehicles. When a vehicle is approved in one country, it can be sold across the EU. This allows automakers to "shop" for the best deal from agencies across Europe, the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment says.
A major complaint in recent months has been the difference between the level of emissions detected during laboratory testing and so-called "real-world" driving.
"The gap between emissions detected in test conditions and those detected in the real world [is] significant," committee chairwoman Louise Ellman, a lawmaker with the opposition Labour party, said on Monday. "The testing procedure is clearly inadequate."
Volkswagen has been making slow progress in finding out who had knowledge of the rigging of emissions tests for harmful NOx pollution after the manipulations became public in the U.S. VW later admitted to understating carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption.
VW has said about 1.2 million vehicles in Britain have been affected by the scandal.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report