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Campaigns | Fuel claims

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More cars break emissions limits

20th January

We analysed data from more than 300 cars that we’ve tested since 2012 using our more realistic testing methods. Officially all vehicles comply with either the Euro 5 or Euro 6 emissions regulations using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) tests, but when using our true-to-life testing methods we found a very different picture.

Our findings

What we found was an astonishing 95% of diesel cars exceeded oxides of nitrogen (NOx) limits in our testing. The worst offender emitted 15 times more NOx as its Euro 5 engine is permitted to.

With petrol cars we found that 10% were emitting more NOx than limits allowed, and 65% of were also emitting more carbon monoxide (CO) than permitted by the 2006 limits.

Hybrid cars also failed to meet emissions standards, testing revealed both petrol and diesel hybrids are emitting more NOx and CO than official limits allow.

Our executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

'Car emissions and fuel claims are important factors when buying a new car, so drivers will be shocked by the results of our testing.'

Revise the test

The results make it clear that the current official testing system is flawed. The New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) contains a number of loopholes that can lead to unrealistic fuel economy and emissions figures which mislead consumers.

Our executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

‘The current official tests are clearly not fit-for-purpose and we urgently need a new regime putting in place that reflects the reality of how we drive.’

New testing methods to assess car performance based on real-life conditions are due to be introduced from 2017. We want to see these be brought in without delay. We also want the Government to set out how it is working with the European Commission and other Member States to implement these tests as soon as possible.

If you think that more needs to be done to clean up car emissions tests then back our campaign today.


VW will not compensate UK owners

UK Volkswagen owners will not receive compensation for the emissions scandal, despite payouts being offered in the US. We’re urging VW to reconsider its position.

Your calls for action picked up by MP

During the Environmental Audit Committee's hearing, John McNally MP recently referred to our Fuel Claims campaign and its supporters when he questioned the Government on its actions in light of the emissions scandal.

Public trust in the car industry badly damaged

The effect of the VW scandal has spread beyond just those affected to owners of other cars.

Government plans to launch investigation into vehicle emissions

The government today said that it planned to launch an investigation into vehicle emissions.


VW emissions scandal rocks the car industry

Volkswagen has come under fire for cheating official car pollution tests in the US and Europe.

VW admits to rigging tests

VW has admitted rigging environmental tests. The scheme was discovered by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which noticed discrepancies in results of laboratory and real-world testing of diesel Volkswagen cars in Europe. ICCT then tested the cars’ actual emissions in real-world driving in the US. To their surprise the pattern was repeated – while the cars passed lab tests performed by the California Air Resources Board, they failed the real-world tests.

So what was going on? Well, Volkswagen managed to artificially lower its tailpipe emissions by using a ‘defeat device’. This allowed Volkswagen to hide the fact that its diesel cars produce pollution up to 40 times the legal limit.

Volkswagen has said that 11 million of its diesel cars are affected worldwide, with models such as the Golf, Passat and Audi A3 included. The company has set aside €6.5bn to deal with the cost of the scandal.

Read more information on how VW rigged car tests.

Just half the story

Car makers claiming figures that are unachievable in real life isn’t news to us. We’ve repeatedly shown that their miles per gallon these claims very frequently miss their mark.

That’s why we’re calling for a new, more stringent fuel economy test to be put into place so that you can once again trust the official figures you see when purchasing a car. Sign our petition to back us.


Our tests show eco cars are not as eco as they claim

Of all the cars we tested in 2012, the ultra-efficient small cars showed the greatest difference between our own mpg tests and the EU tests used by manufacturers.
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