German technical inspectors have said policymakers are partly to blame for the scope of Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal. They said inspectors had never been allowed to check carmakers' engine control software.
A regional branch of Germany's Association for Technical Inspection, TÜV Nord, on Monday fired a broadside at national policymakers by saying that automotive industry lobbyists had pressured Berlin into preventing inspectors from checking car engine control software that had become the focus of investigations into Volkswagen's huge emissions cheating scandal.
TÜV Nord chief Guido Rettig told Monday's edition of "Die Welt" newspaper his organization had insisted for many years that checking such software on a regular basis must become the job of technical inspectors in the country.
"But all our efforts to this end failed," Rettig said, saying that auto industry leaders had referred to the need to keep their technology secret and that policymakers had been all too willing to side with the carmakers.
"We never had a chance to take a closer look at the software now in the focus of attention," Rettig said. "And so, our inspectors had no way of knowing that diesel-engine emissions were manipulated.
TÜV Nord called on Berlin to rectify the situation as soon as possible and allow inspectors to check the software in question.
The organization said it should also be in charge of checking some other parameters such as tractional resistance. So far, driving resistance data have been provided to TÜV Nord by the carmakers themselves and inspectors just had to believe in their accuracy.
hg/tko (Reuters, AFP)