Brake is urging the government to make sure there are no delays to the implementation of new ‘real world’ car emissions (RDE) tests scheduled for introduction in 2017.
The call follows a DfT investigation which saw 37 cars tested, and found levels of pollution were much higher on the road that they are in the laboratory. Not a single model met the EU lab NOx limit in real-world testing. The average emissions were five times higher than they should be and some cars’ NOx levels were 12 times higher.
During the tests, no other car manufacturer was found to be using any device that cheats the emissions tests, as was the case for Volkswagen.Although this week, it emerged that Mitsubishi Motors incorrectly measured fuel efficiency data across a range of its models.
The tests revealed that most vehicles perform very differently in laboratory testing than they do in real life on-the-road driving conditions. This is because of the widespread use of “engine management systems” which kick in to prevent engine damage in certain circumstances, but can lead to much higher emissions in real world temperature conditions than the cooler temperatures in the approved lab test.
Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “We’re backing the introduction of these tests. I want the government to ensure that testing is rigorously enforced and tough action taken when vehicles do not make the grade.
“If car manufacturers are serious about protecting the environment they must cut the poison currently being pumped out of their vehicles. The World Health Organisation describes air pollution as a public health emergency and estimates that one in eight worldwide deaths (seven million premature deaths a year) are due to air pollution, with transport being a major contributory factor. Consumers are fast losing confidence with car manufacturers. Many drivers believe they have been cheated into buying diesel vehicles.”