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Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

Vauxhall: we do NOT cheat emissions tests

Vauxhall Zafira TourerVauxhall has issued a strongly-worded statement insisting its cars do not have any emission test detection devices – despite the suggestion by BBC’s Panorama that they do.

Such ‘defeat device’ software as used by Volkswagen has been proven to detect test conditions and alter engine settings to produce fewer harmful NOx emissions than in real-world driving.

The Panorama test appeared to show a disparity between tailpipe emissions of a Vauxhall Zafira Tourer 1.6 diesel when strictly run under official test conditions and when a single parameter – the temperature of the engine – was changed.


Read more:

Volkswagen diesels ‘manipulate’ US emissions tests

Defeat device now detected in Porsche, Audi models

Volkswagen CO2 emissions now in question


The engine ‘outside’ test cycle conditions produced three times the amount of NOx as the test cycle-compliant engine. This could indicate the presence of software that detects a vehicle is undergoing an emissions test.

Not so, says Vauxhall. Its products “comply with all regulatory requirements, including the in-service emissions testing program, according to EU rules. These requirements are periodically audited by the approval authority.”

Vauxhall: Panorama used a poorly-performing car

So what caused the difference in emissions found by Panorama? Either a test that wasn’t correctly set up, insists Vauxhall, or a vehicle that was not performing correctly.

“Panorama has refused to share information on the technical accuracy of the test prior to the broadcast.”

This lack of information is why Vauxhall believes the car was not performing as it should: when Panorama conducted the emissions test strictly by the book, NOx emissions were still twice as high as legislation permits.

Panorama also ran the Zafira Tourer through a regular real-world procedure, and found that NOx emissions went “off the scale” of the testing equipment.

A test engineer at the Czech Republic lab used by Panorama said that although emissions will increase in real-world driving, it should be by ‘tens of percent’.

“There is no reason for the emissions to be three times, five times, ten times higher.” Vauxhall did not respond to this observation in its statement.

Volkswagen logo

Volkswagen reveals list of 430,000 new cars with 'implausible' CO2 figures

Volkswagen logoVolkswagen Group has worked out which new 2016 model year cars may have false CO2 emissions and MPG fuel economy figures – and has now published a list (see below) detailing them all.

Models affected include the latest Audi A1, SEAT Ibiza, SEAT Leon, Skoda Fabia,  Skoda Octavia, Skoda Superb, VW Polo, VW Golf, VW Tiguan, VW Passat and numerous others.

While it’s mainly TDI engines that are under scrutiny – the 1.4 TDI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI – petrol engines are also on the list.

It’s turbo TSI petrol engines that have questionable CO2 and mpg figures: units include the 1.0 TSI, 1.4 TSI and 1.8 TSI.

The 430,000 2016 model year cars affected will now be reassessed by the German Federal Vehicle and Transport Authority (KBA): new CO2 and fuel economy figures will be determined and published “without delay” by Volkswagen.

What about older VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda models?

“To what extent models of previous years are affected continues to be looked into,” says Volkswagen.

“Based on what is known at present, the Volkswagen Group continues to anticipate that this will be… around 800,000 vehicles.”

Volkswagen has already committed to swallowing any additional costs that may arise through any increases in CO2 figures – in the UK, for example, VED road tax could go up if revised CO2 figures were higher than previously stated.

The promise is that “all taxes arising in direct relation to the CO2 issue are charged straight to the Volkswagen Group and not to the customers”.

List of critical CO2 vehicles model year 2016

Volkswagen logo

Volkswagen reveals list of 430,000 new cars with ‘implausible’ CO2 figures

Volkswagen logoVolkswagen Group has worked out which new 2016 model year cars may have false CO2 emissions and MPG fuel economy figures – and has now published a list (see below) detailing them all.

Models affected include the latest Audi A1, SEAT Ibiza, SEAT Leon, Skoda Fabia,  Skoda Octavia, Skoda Superb, VW Polo, VW Golf, VW Tiguan, VW Passat and numerous others.

While it’s mainly TDI engines that are under scrutiny – the 1.4 TDI, 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI – petrol engines are also on the list.

It’s turbo TSI petrol engines that have questionable CO2 and mpg figures: units include the 1.0 TSI, 1.4 TSI and 1.8 TSI.

The 430,000 2016 model year cars affected will now be reassessed by the German Federal Vehicle and Transport Authority (KBA): new CO2 and fuel economy figures will be determined and published “without delay” by Volkswagen.

What about older VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda models?

“To what extent models of previous years are affected continues to be looked into,” says Volkswagen.

“Based on what is known at present, the Volkswagen Group continues to anticipate that this will be… around 800,000 vehicles.”

Volkswagen has already committed to swallowing any additional costs that may arise through any increases in CO2 figures – in the UK, for example, VED road tax could go up if revised CO2 figures were higher than previously stated.

The promise is that “all taxes arising in direct relation to the CO2 issue are charged straight to the Volkswagen Group and not to the customers”.

List of critical CO2 vehicles model year 2016

French autoroute

France to ‘begin move out of diesel’

French autorouteIn a further illustration of the country’s renewed anti-diesel stance, France is to consider phasing out tax breaks for diesel cars by the end of the decade.

French environment minister Segolene Royal told France 5 television: “We need to start preparing our move out of diesel right now.

“We should phase out diesel’s advantage over five years.”

Royal said taxes on diesel cars should be progressively increased, but offset by new tax breaks on clean-fuel vehicles; diesel fuel tax in France is currently €0.15 cheaper than petrol.

France was one of the first countries to really embrace diesel back in the 1990s; today, more than half the cars on French roads are diesel. Home manufacturers PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Renaults helped pioneer the modern diesel with turbocharger and direct injection technology.

But in recent years, French officials has started to fall out of love with diesel, due to concerns over the country’s poor air quality in major cities such as Paris.

Last year, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo revealed plans to ban diesels from Paris by 2020; earlier in the year, French PM Manuel Valls called the country’s reliance on diesel cars “a mistake”.

Now diesel’s image has been further tarnished because of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, it seems the French government is set to respond with an official disincentivisation of diesel.

More on the VW Group scandal on Motoring Research

  • No road tax hike for VWs with illegal software, UK government confirms
  • ‘No collusion’ in car industry over emissions tests says SMMT
  • Realistic fuel consumption tests? Careful what you wish for
  • SEAT: 700,000 cars affected by VW emissions scandal
  • RAC calls for more stringent lab tests following VW emissions scandal
  • Volkswagen emissions scandal: new diesel info website to advise customers
  • Audi: 2.1 million cars contain cheat code software
  • Switzerland bans Volkswagen Group sales
  • VW scandal: Matthias Müller becomes CEO, priority is to ‘win back trust’
  • VW scandal: who is Matthias Müller?
  • Volkswagen: ‘We are sorry. And will put it right.’
  • #Dieselgate: company cars set for a nasty shock?
  • Dieselgate latest: what we’ve learnt – LIVE
  • SMMT says Volkswagen emissions scandal ‘not an industry-wide issue’
  • Volkswagen U.S. boss: ‘we totally screwed up’
  • Volkswagen diesels ‘manipulate US emission testing: VW CEO ‘deeply sorry’
Diesel pollution levels

Just 10% of diesel cars meet legal air pollution limit

Diesel pollution levels

Just one in 10 diesel-engined cars on the road meets EU air pollution limits, according to environmental lobbying   group Transport and Environment (T&E).

The new Euro 6 emissions standard was introduced on 1 September, but only 10% of cars tested complied with it. Audi and Opel (Vauxhall in the UK) were among the worst offenders.

T&E discovered that, on average, diesel cars pump out emissions five times greater than the allowed limit. The worst new car, an Audi, emitted 22 times as much. Only three out of the 23 tested cars met the new standard.

The problem, says T&E, is Europe’s outdated emissions testing system, which allows carmakers to use cheaper and less effective exhaust treatment systems for diesels sold here. As the infographic below shows, diesel cars sold by the same manufacturers in the US have better exhaust treatment systems and emit less.

Exhaust treatment systemsA new on-road test is due that will measure ‘real-world’ emissions from diesels. However, it won’t arrive until 2018 at the earliest. And, with diesel after-treatment systems costing around £220 per car, manufacturers aren’t in a rush to introduce them.

Greg Archer, T&E’s clean vehicles manager, said: “Every new diesel car should now be clean but just one in 10 actually is. This is the main cause of the air pollution crisis affecting cities. Carmakers sell clean diesels in the US, and testing should require manufacturers to sell them in Europe too.”

In the UK, the number of diesel cars on the road has risen from 1.6 million to 12 million since 1994.

Removing DPF: illegal and costly say experts

Removing DPF: illegal and costly say experts

Removing DPF: illegal and costly say experts

Experts are warning that removing a car’s diesel particulate filter (DPF) is not only illegal, it’s also a waste of money.

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