Latest diesel car models remain highly polluting, tests show

Six new vehicles including Land Rover and Suzuki are adding to air pollution crisis, despite stricter rules coming in months.

Car exhaust pollution (Image: Wikipedia)

Car exhaust pollution (Image: Wikipedia)

The latest diesel car models are failing to meet pollution limits when on the road, just three months ahead of stricter new tests, independent tests have found. Results show that none of six new 2017 diesel cars met the EU standard for toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) pollution in real-world driving.

The updated Equa Index, produced by the testing firm Emissions Analytics, shows that 86% of all diesel models put on to the British market since the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal failed to meet the official limit on the road, with 15% producing at least eight times more NOx emissions.

Levels of NOx, emitted mostly by diesel vehicles, have been illegally high in 90% of the UK’s urban areas since 2010. The toxic fumes are estimated to cause 23,500 early deaths a year and the problem has been called a public health emergency by a cross-party committee of MPs.

Ministers have already lost twice in the courts over the adequacy of government air quality plans and are being sued again over their latest proposals, which were published on 5 May but widely condemned as inadequate. The government’s own analysis shows clean air zones in urban centres, where charges deter the most polluting vehicles, are the most effective way to cut pollution quickly. But Nick Molden, CEO of Emissions Analytics, said the wide variation in real-world performance of diesel cars undermines such plans.

Read more: The Guardian

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