Tide turning against toxic diesels
THE end of diesel is nigh — although this end will take a bit longer to come to pass in SA.
With several cities around the world already phasing in a total ban on diesel vehicles and Wheels last week reporting that diesel engines are up to 50% dirtier in the real world than even the most cynical laboratory tester predicted, more evidence is coming in of diesel cheats.
This after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week announced they have uncovered at least eight secret features in the computers of Fiat-Chrysler vehicles that basically turn off the cars’ emission-control systems after they pass government tests. Nearly 104 000 diesel cars — all Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 2014, 2015, and 2016 — were sold with “defeat-device” software in the U.S. Volkswagen, by comparison, sold 482 000 cars equipped with emissions cheating defeat devices in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Justice is consequently suing the Fiat Chrysler company for violating the Clean Air Act.
The software in the FiatChrysler vehicles allow the cars to “meet emission standards in the lab and during standard EPA testing,” but then proceed to emit levels of noxious nitrogen oxide pollution “much higher than the EPA-compliant level” once on the road, the EPA said in a press release.
In Germany, Fiat-Chrysler has already been accused of timing cars to emit test-passing levels of emissions for exactly 22 minutes — just two minutes longer than the German certification test lasts — before shutting off emissions controls and reverting to illegal emissions.
The tide against toxin-spewing diesel engines will also impact in SA, where our total vehicle sales last year reached 0,68% of global sales. Initially, this will see diesel models dumped here, but as the world moves on to electrics, so will we on Africa’s southern tip.