Alongside more than 55,000 supporters, we’ve been putting pressure on the car industry to tell us whether they manipulate fuel tests. 17 car makers have responded…
In the aftermath of the VW emissions scandal, we asked all the major car brands whether their vehicle testing methods were misleading consumers. That deadline has passed, and of the 17 who have responded, 16 have said they don’t manipulate emissions and fuel economy tests.
You can read all the car maker responses here, but if you want the gist of it, Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Nissan, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Volvo, Vauxhall, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Suzuki, Daimler (Mercedez-Benz) and Mitsubishi have all explicitly denied manipulating tests. Fiat Chrysler has responded but hasn’t confirmed or denied manipulating tests. And we’re still waiting on Subaru.
Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat owners
If you own one of the affected Volkwagen, Audi, Skoda or Seat brand cars (there are 1,189,906 in the UK), I have a few updates for you.
The German government gave VW a deadline of tonight to submit a plan on how it’ll ensure affected cars are compliant with the law. And today VW said that a recall should start from January 2016.
The Government has confirmed that affected motorists will not have to pay more car tax even though they may be producing more pollution. And if car owners don’t get their vehicles fixed it won’t be illegal and you won’t be fined but, according to the Department for Transport, ‘it is in their best interest’.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has also said the Government is ‘taking robust action’:
‘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 now want the Government to immediately publish a timetable for a genuinely independent investigation and ensure anyone who’s affected can get easy access to redress.
Fuel tests you can trust
There are still issues around the effectiveness of testing.
Currently cars are tested using the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which was first introduced in the 1970s. The test lacks real-world driving scenarios and there are numerous loopholes which make the miles per gallon figures unrealstic when you actually get behind the wheel of a car. You can read more about these loopholes here.
The European Commission is planning to implement the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) procedure, where new cars will have to be tested not only in the laboratory but also on the road. The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) will also bring a number of much-needed improvements. That’s why we want the European Commission to announce how it will bring forward these new tests by the end of the year.
When we asked, several car makers also stated their support for the introduction of new tests that reflect real-world driving conditions, including PSA Peugeot Citreon, Renault, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) and BMW.
Do you want to see these new more realistic tests brought forward? And what do you think about the car makers’ responses?