Diesel still failing real world tests

New diesel cars’ pollution is peaking at more than 1,000 times their normal levels, tests of two top-selling vehicles show, with these spikes in particles resulting from of the cars cleaning their filters, which may occur in urban areas, and lasting for up to 15km.

These peaks are effectively ignored by official emissions tests, and yet more than 45 million cars carry these filters in Europe, causing a total of 1.3 billion filter cleanings a year.

Transport & Environment (T&E), which commissioned the independent tests, said lawmakers must accept that diesels are still highly-polluting and should make emissions limits and testing more stringent.

The two car tested, the Nissan Qashqai and Opel Astra, the second and fourth bestsellers in their segments respectively, were 32 per cent to 115 per cent over the legal limit for particles when they cleaned their filters.

Anna Krajinska, emissions engineer at T&E, said: “These tests show that new diesels are still not clean. In fact they are spewing out highly-dangerous levels of particles in our towns and highways every day. Carmakers are being given an easy ride but people’s lungs are paying for it. Manufacturers should clean up their cars if they want to sell them.”

T&E said the new European Commission should also use its new powers to require type approval authorities to check cars on the road, after they have been sold – as the US Environmental Protection Agency does.

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