Low on petrol

The VW diesel scandal that hit the front pages around the world last year has just got much bigger.

According Emissions Analytics 97% of all modern diesel cars emit more toxic nitrogen oxide pollution (NOx) on the road than the official limit, with a quarter producing at least six times more than the limit.

A department of transport study of cars made by manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Renault and Ford found there was a vast difference in nitrogen oxide emissions measured in the laboratory under normal driving conditions.

Out of the 37 cars tested not a single model met the EU lab limit in real world testing against the two most recent nitrogen oxide emission standards, with the average emissions being five times as high.

However, the department of transport has said “Unlike the Volkswagen situation, there have been no laws broken. This has been done within the rules.” This is because the manufacturers have not deliberately tried to rig the emission figures unlike VW. All the diesel cars which were tested met the EU limit for NOx in the laboratory under fixed conditions, but when taken out on to real roads almost all cars emitted more pollution.

The minister denied that the findings meant the current emissions testing regime was a farce “But certainly I am disappointed that the cars that we are driving on our roads are not as clean as we thought they might be. It’s up to manufacturers now to rise to the real-world tests and the tough standards we’re introducing,” he said.

He has also said “I’m disappointed the results are as bad as they are. We expected them to be different by a factor of maybe 0.5 or two on the road compared to the lab, but the levels are disappointingly high – industry needs to raise its game.”

So after all we all might not be driving the ‘cleanest’ cars as the manufacturers say we are.