Opinion: Meaningless diesel tests

Which claim that current diesel tests are so flawed as to be basically meaningless.
Which claim that current diesel tests are so flawed as to be basically meaningless.

In the Scarborough News of January 14, we see yet another test of a diesel powered car, and have seen a number over the last few issues. A new detailed report by the consumer magazine, Which, has highlighted the dangerous emissions from diesel engines.

After the scandal surrounding VW when the company admitted installing software to defeat emission tests, Which has looked at the current testing regime and come up with some highly disturbing figures.

They claim the current tests are so flawed as to be basically meaningless, and after testing many different cars they say 95% of all diesel cars, regardless of maker, are emitting dangerous levels of toxicants, some up to fifteen times the level allowed! Well-known names like BMW, Nissan, Range Rover and Renault were among those tested, in fact Renault are in the process of recalling 15,000 new diesel cars because of emissions which are way above acceptable.

Two thirds of petrol cars were also emitting more carbon monoxide than current levels allow, it begs the question, ‘are major manufacturers colluding in a cover up?’

According to the BMA, 30,000 people in the UK die of heart attacks, stroke or asthma related diseases, 25,500 of which can be directly linked to diesel pollution. The Americans seem to have sussed this out well before us, hence the VW scandal being triggered by tests they did.

We all wondered at the time the VW scandal was exposed if it applied to other makes, well now we know it does.

The study done by the magazine was conducted on the road, real tests as we, the average motorist, would encounter in our everyday driving. They also found the manufacturer’s mileage claims for fuel consumption was impossible to meet in average driving, something I suspect most drivers have always known.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers said: “The Which results were to be expected.”

I suspect we will be hearing much more of this scandal in the months to come.