Exclusive Exclusive: After Dieselgate, German Justice Minister to Strengthen Consumer Protection

The “Dieselgate” emissions-rigging scandal surrounding VW and its subsidiaries is leading to a policy change in Germany, Handelsblatt has learned. Justice Minister Heiko Maas plans to strengthen the Federal Motor Transport Authority, potentially making the agency responsible for independent testing of vehicles, according to a government report sent to the parliamentary committee on law and consumer protection which Handelsblatt has obtained. The twelve-page report suggests that the scandal might have “consequences for the area of responsibility of the Federal Motor Transport Authority.” Ulrich Kelber, parliamentary state secretary at the ministry for justice, in a Handelsblatt interview added: “Consumer protection should also become the goal of the Federal Motor Transport Authority. Following food scandals, it has become clear just how important independent testing is.” The government report also suggests an arbitration office to resolve disputes involving the purchase of cars and other problems. The report also proposes that E.U.-level “control mechanisms be checked and strengthened.”   Read the full story in Monday’s Handelsblatt Global Edition at 12:00 CET.