They have voted in favour of rules reinforcing the procedures for the type-approval of motor vehicles and enabling the European Commission to check the work of member states and impose fines of up to €30,000 (£26,260) per vehicle if manufacturers break the rules.
National market authorities will also have to conduct spot checks on cars already in circulation to ensure vehicles meet the standards that have been declared and tested.
The new regulations are in response to the emissions scandals in 2015 when car manufacturers, including Volkswagen, were found to be tempering with emissions tests.
Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, welcomed the vote and said: “One important complaint we heard on dieselgate was that the EU failed to act. In reality, our margin of manoeuvre was limited. We now agreed on a fundamental reform that gives the Commission the power to make sure manufacturers will no longer get away with cheating.
“The new rules will give us cleaner cars on our way to zero emission and safer cars for the rollout of autonomous driving.”