The European Commission announced on Thursday that new car models will "have to pass new and more reliable emissions tests" before they can be driven on European roads.
Diesel emissions are in particular focus after it emerged in 2015 that German carmaker Volkswagen installed cheating mechanisms in many of its cars that make them appear less polluting than they actually are during emissions testing.
The commission says the new tests "will ensure more reliable results and help to rebuild confidence in the performance of new cars."
The tests are mandatory for all new car models from September 1, and will be phased in between 2018 and 2019.
"The new emissions tests are a milestone in our ongoing work for cleaner and more sustainable cars over the coming years," EU commissioner Jyrki Katainen said in a statement.
"The emissions scandal has shown that we need more independence in car testing, stronger market surveillance and the possibility for the commission to intervene in case of wrongdoing."
Last month German magazine Der Spiegel reported that German carmakers VW, BMW, Audi, Porsche and Daimler may have formed a cartel and met in secret working groups to discuss vehicle technology, costs, suppliers and emission control of diesel cars.
Also in July German carmaker Daimler recalled more than 3 million Mercedes Benz vehicles in Europe to make adjustments to their diesel motors.