European parliamentary panel to investigate VW emissions scandal

Europe’s parliament will set up a committee to investigate Volkswagen's emissions scandal and decide whether regulatory supervision of the car industry on the continent is lax, agencies reported.
Members of the parliament will vote on the issue around midday on Thursday, but lawmakers said it was a formality after leaders of various political groups decided on Wednesday to establish the committee.

The inquiry could last for up to a year and will investigate alleged contraventions of European Union law and "maladministration" in the application of the law, according to the proposal approved by the group leaders.

Some 45 members of Europe’s parliament will sit on the committee.

"For me, the diesel issue has two dimensions. Firstly, it's about private companies organizing the largest industrial fraud ever," Claude Turmes, Green member of the parliament, said. "Secondly, it's about public authorities in member states and on the EU level not intervening despite having relevant information."

EU regulation of the car industry has been under scrutiny since Volkswagen admitted in September it had rigged US tests for nitrogen oxide emissions in diesel vehicles and that up to 11 million vehicles worldwide -- most of them in Europe -- were fitted with software capable of cheating tests.