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Government concludes its inquiry into emissions tests

Following the Volkswagen emissions issue that arose late last year, the Department for Transport (DfT) has concluded its testing programme to investigate potential manipulation of emission controls by other vehicle manufacturers. DfT began its inquiry in October 2015, and has since tested a total of 37 UK vehicles representing a "selection of the UK's top-selling diesel vehicles". 

Presenting the results of the inquiry, Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP confirmed that: "Our tests published today have not detected evidence of manipulation of emissions lab tests as used by the VW Group by any other car manufacturer." The inquiry did find anomalies between emissions in laboratory conditions and real-world driving. Testing revealed that no car on the UK market could get under legal limits for NOx emissions in real world driving. Both Euro5 and Euro6 cars emitted an average of six times the legal NOx limit in real world tests conducted by UK and German authorities. Euro5 cars emitted 1,135mg/km on average compared to a legal limit of 180mg/km, while Euro6 models emitted 500mg/km (the legal limit is 80mg/km).  

Explaining this, Mr McLoughlin said that: "The tests do show the widespread use of engine management systems to prevent engine damage which can lead to higher emissions in real world temperature conditions cooler than those in the approved lab test." As well as Volkswagen cars, the inquiry also tested the Ford Focus, BMW 3 Series, Jaguar XE, Nissan Qashqai, Vauxhall Astra and Volvo V40. All of the cars tested were sourced from hire fleets, and had completed no more than 30,000 miles.

In 2017 the EU will implement the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, which includes real world driving to measure emissions. The DfT says this new test will "improve consumer confidence in manufacturers."

Source: BVRLA 


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