The government today said that it planned to launch an investigation into vehicle emissions.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
‘The Vehicle Certification Agency, the UK regulator, is working with vehicle manufacturers to ensure that this issue is not industry wide. As part of this work they will re-run laboratory tests where necessary and compare them against real world driving emissions.
‘We have called on the EU to conduct a Europe wide investigation into whether there is evidence that cars here have been fitted with defeat devices. My priority is to protect the public as we go through the process of investigating what went wrong and what we can do to stop it happening again in the future.’
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.
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.
Fuel efficiency tests
In fact, all 10 of the cars with the largest disparity between claimed mpg and our test results are ‘eco’ models that claim to beat the 100g/km CO2 emissions mark.
The worst offender is the Peugeot 208 1.4 e-HDi EGC automatic, which our test found to be an astonishing 21.7mpg short of Peugeot’s claim. That could cost drivers an extra £327 a year. The biggest cost difference revealed by our tests was the Fiat Punto TwinAir, at £366 a year.
Read how our mpg tests differ from the European test cycle used by car manufacters. And if you want fuel tests you can trust, sign our petition.