The Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobi-Club (ADAC), a German motoring group, says that diesel vehicles from popular car manufacturers emit dangerous levels of pollution. Other than Volkswagen, new models from Renault, Volvo, Jeep and others are reported to emit 10 times more NOx compared to current European Union (EU) emission tests.
To gather reliable findings, the cars underwent rigorous tests in a realistic driving setting, which exposed their severe NOx emissions. While Volkswagen is notorious for its defeat device, an on-board software that can control a vehicle's emission levels and detect when it's being tested, there are no signs that other carmakers are using a similar device. Also, Volkswagen was caught cheating on the emission test for roughly 11 million of its diesel vehicles.
Other well-known carmakers that exceeded the legal levels of emission include Citroën, Fiat, BMW, Ford, Jaguar and Mazda. The issue, however, doesn't fall solely on the car manufacturers. Nissan, Hyundai and Renault spoke about the results, saying that they have always abided by the rules, which raised criticism of the New European Driving Cycle's (NEDC) emissions standards and testing policy.
According to ADAC's report, Nissan's X-Trail 1.6 cDi, Renault's Espace Energy dCi 160 and Jeep's Renegade 2.0 are the biggest polluters. But Nissan called it unfair, saying that the model that the German motoring organization used was a "pre-production Euro V model tested in 2014." ADAC confirmed and agreed to remove it from the report.
ADAC plans to implement a stricter UN-certified testing procedure (WLTC) that will better represent realistic driving conditions in 2017. Experts say carmakers aggressively lobbied for its delay because complying with the firmer test standards would cost a lot.
NOx is a serious problem because it can cause severe respiratory complications, not to mention studies saying that it is "killing thousands of Britons every year."
"If all cars complied with [the official EU NOx limit], we would have solved all the worst health effects. Every consumer has the right to expect all manufacturers to do this. But still there are these gross emitters," Reinhard Kolke, head of test and technical affairs at ADAC's test center in Bavaria, said in an interview.
People can only hope for the NEDC's tests to be replaced with WLTC soon to resolve this issue.
Photo: David Evers | Flickr