Nearly 30 mn diesel cars on EU roads over emissions limit: study

Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to installing so-called "defeat devices" in 11 million diesel cars
Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 to installing so-called "defeat devices" in 11 million diesel cars

One year after the Volkswagen "dieselgate" scandal, nearly 30 million cars on Europe's roads are still way over air pollution limits, campaign group Transport and Environment said in a report Monday.

The German car manufacturer admitted in September 2015 to installing so-called "defeat devices" in 11 million that enabled them to pass they would otherwise have failed.

Greg Archer, the clean vehicle director at the Brussels-based NGO, said "one year after the US caught Volkswagen cheating, all carmakers keep selling grossly polluting diesel cars with the connivance of European governments."

The study found that not one brand complied with current air pollution limits in real-world driving conditions, with Fiat and Suzuki diesel cars spewing out 15 times more nitrogen oxide than the current legal limit.

Nitrogen oxide is linked to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The European Environment Agency said in a 2015 report that nitrogen oxide was responsible for around 72,000 premature deaths in Europe.

Volkswagen Euro 6 cars—cars sold after 2015 in line with the latest EU emission standards—were the least polluting but still belched out nearly twice as much as the official standard.

Volkswagen emissions scandal
Volkswagen emissions scandal

Four out of every five Euro 5 standard cars—sold between 2010 and 2014—failed to meet those limits, producing on average three times the ceiling.

The study used emissions tests data from around 230 diesel cars gathered in tests by the British, French and Italian governments and public databases.

France was the country with the most "dirty" cars on the road, with 5.5 million not reaching standards, followed by Germany on 5.3 million, Britain 4.3 million and Italy 3.1 million.

The NGO urged a recall of all harmful diesel cars and the institution of a European watchdog "to stop EU member states protecting their national champions and to ensure the single market for vehicles operates in the interests of all citizens."


Explore further

EU ignoring diesel pollution despite VW scandal: NGO

© 2016 AFP

Citation: Nearly 30 mn diesel cars on EU roads over emissions limit: study (2016, September 19) retrieved 24 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-mn-diesel-cars-eu-roads.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
37 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Sep 19, 2016
The study found that not one brand complied with current air pollution limits in real-world driving conditions


That's no surprise. The EU taxes cars based on the CO2 per km emissions while simultaneously taxing road fuels with a heavy hand, which forces people to buy diesel cars and the manufacturers to increase their fuel efficiency - which by the physics of high compression, high temperature and lean burn causes a corresponding increase in NOx emissions.

This is a case of two government regulations that are antagonist to each other. Both demands are not achievable at the same time, so the industry cheats on the one where the government is not looking very closely.

Actually they cheat on both the emissions and the fuel economy figures, but the result of not cheating wouldn't improve the situation. The cars would still emit pollution and consume as much fuel - the people would simply pay more tax over an issue that cannot be presently solved by more taxation.


Sep 19, 2016
So if the EU wants to do something about NOx emissions, reduce tax on gasoline so people wouldn't have to drive on diesel.

Of course they won't, so the next solution is to mandate the use of expensive new exhaust treatment systems on all cars and make the consumers pay more.

The dirty secret is that things like urea injection or NOx traps don't actually work very well, because excess urea injection causes emissions of ammonia and so less than the necessary amount is always used, and the NOx trap regeneration puts the fuel efficiency down considerably - though it's not on all the time and especially not when the government is measuring fuel consumption.


Sep 21, 2016
So, everybody is a polluter.

It is time for EVs.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more