Since at least 2010, the European Commission has been in possession of concrete evidence that automobile manufacturers were cheating on emissions values of diesel vehicles, according to a number of internal documents that SPIEGEL ONLINE has obtained. The papers show that emissions cheating had been under discussion for years both within the Commission and the EU member state governments. The documents also show that the German government was informed of a 2012 meeting on the issue. The scandal first hit the headlines in 2015 when it became known that Volkswagen had manipulated the emissions of its diesel vehicles.
The bureaucrats, unfortunately, are unaccountable. How can their subjects vote them out or sack them? There was a real problem:
Back [in the mid-2000s], European Commission experts noticed an odd phenomenon: Air quality in European cities was improving much more slowly than was to be expected in light of stricter emissions regulations.
A reader chimes in: In contrast to the EU, the government of the US took action to protect the people: “On 18 September 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation.”