Is EU blow­ing smoke at VW?

Study: 2015 VW’s ex­haust cleaner than fumes from the ex­hausts of any car maker in Europe

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - AL­WYN VILJOEN

AT Wheels, we con­tinue singing the praises of Volk­swa­gen’s cars — es­pe­cially the diesels — in spite of the ar­ro­gance shown by the com­pany’s man­age­ment in ly­ing to Amer­ica.

For we ar­gue the par­ti­cle count in the air above any of South Africa’s in­for­mal set­tle­ments and in­dus­trial ar­eas is higher than the par­ti­cle count in the fumes from a new VW’s ex­haust and — we asked if it’s re­ally that bad to lie to Amer­ica, the coun­try whose dou­ble stan­dards on all things en­vi­ron­men­tal are caus­ing most of Africa’s cli­mate change mis­eries.

Our view on the rel­a­tive clean­li­ness of a new VW car’s ex­haust fumes has now been vin­di­cated by an anal­y­sis by Europe’s Trans­port & En­vi­ron­ment group. Their study of emis­sions from diesel cars sold in sev­eral Euro­pean coun­tries shows the fumes from any 2015 VW’s ex­haust are cleaner than the fumes from the ex­haust of any car maker in Europe.

Be­cause, as it turns out, all the other diesel car mak­ers are also gam­ing the emis­sions mea­sur­ing sys­tem.

The re­port, which was is­sued last week, states over four in five 2010-14 model year cars that met the Euro 5 stan­dard of no more than 180 g/1 000 km ni­tro­gen-ox­ide in lab­o­ra­tory con­di­tions, ac­tu­ally pro­duce more than three times this level when driven on the road.

Two-thirds of Euro 6 cars (most on sale since 2015) still pro­duce more than three times the 80 g/1 000 km limit when driven on the road. VW Group pro­duces the clean­est Euro 6 cars, fol­lowed by Seat, Skoda and Audi; BMW (in­clud­ing Mini) and Mazda.

The an­a­lysts said this can­not be claimed as ev­i­dence of VW Group is “learn­ing its les­son”, be­cause the “clean” VW en­gines were built be­fore Diesel­gate.

The study states ex­ces­sive ni­tro­gen ox­ide emis­sions in cities lead to the pre­ma­ture death of 72 000 EU ci­ti­zens an­nu­ally. The re­port blames the EU’s lax sys­tem of ve­hi­cle ap­proval for this lethal air qual­ity and added that fix­ing it will in­volve a se­ries of steps, start­ing with en­force­ment of de­feat de­vice leg­is­la­tion, in­clud­ing re­call of cars. But ul­ti­mately “Europe must end its diesel ad­dic­tion”, states the re­port.

Worst emis­sions from Euro 5 cars

(in or­der of the high­est emis­sions): Re­nault (in­clud­ing Da­cia), Land Rover, Hyundai, Opel/Vaux­hall (in­clud­ing Chevro­let), Nis­san.

Least emis­sions from Euro 5 cars

(in or­der of low­est emis­sions first): Seat, Honda, BMW (in­clud­ing Mini), Ford, Peu­geot.

Worst per­form­ers for Euro 6 cars:

Fiat (in­clud­ing Alfa Romeo) plus Suzuki (to whom Fiat sup­ply en­gines); Re­nault (in­clud­ing Nis­san, Da­cia and In­finiti), Opel/Vaux­hall, Hyundai, Mercedes.


A study re­leased last week shows VW’s new diesel cars emit the least toxic fumes among all the cur­rent car brands.

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