Dieselgate in Europe How Officials Ignored Years of Emissions Evidence

When American authorities revealed that Volkswagen used software to trick pollution tests, it spurred widespread outrage. Documents obtained by SPIEGEL show that European officials knew about the deception for years -- but didn't act on it.
A car with a PEMS system

A car with a PEMS system

Marcel Kusch/ dpa
Axel Friedrich, the retired head of the Federal Environment Agency with a PEMS system

Axel Friedrich, the retired head of the Federal Environment Agency with a PEMS system

Michael Kappeler/ dpa
A gray haze over Italy in March 2005 -- Northern Italy in particular is often faced with serious air pollution.

A gray haze over Italy in March 2005 -- Northern Italy in particular is often faced with serious air pollution.

AFP / NASA
Former German Economics Minister Philipp Rösler

Former German Economics Minister Philipp Rösler

Adam Berry/ Getty Images
European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani: "I was never informed about the defeat devices."

European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani: "I was never informed about the defeat devices."

FRANCOIS LENOIR/ REUTERS
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan
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