Advertisement

Car makers may already be manipulating new emissions tests

European Commission says manufacturers may be increasing emissions artificially so future limits are easier to meet

Exhaust

Car makers may already be manipulating the new WLTP emissions and economy tests, the European Commission (EC) has warned.

Manufacturers have been tasked with reducing emissions by 15 per cent between 2020 and 2025, but the EC says there is a “clear risk” car makers are setting an “artificial increase” in emission figures for 2020, making it easier to show a reduction by 2025.

Advertisement - Article continues below

WLTP and RDE emissions tests introduced

“We don’t like tricks” Miguel Arias Canete told the Financial Times, adding: “We have seen things we don’t like. We are going to do all the necessary work so that the starting points are the real ones.” The Financial Times claims to have seen a briefing document from the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), which shows 114 data sets indicating car makers are “configuring their test vehicles in such a way that the measured WLTP are inflated.”

While no individual companies have been named, the EC believes manufacturers are submitting cars with deliberately-depleted batteries, meaning “additional fuel was consumed to charge the battery during the test.”

Cars’ stop-start systems are also said to have been disabled, while the JRC also said they were being driven in gears that would cause a “significant” rise in CO2 emissions. The JRC says “declared WLTP emission values” from car makers were 4.5 per cent higher on average than those produced by independent tests, while some emissions figures were 13 per cent greater.

The WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure) replaces the outdated NEDC tests, putting stricter limits in place, and including an on-road RDE (real driving emissions) element. Carmakers have previously warned WLTP is far from perfect, with Mercedes’ head of certification previously telling Auto Express the regime does not stipulate when gear changes should be made during the test’s RDE section.

Looking for a car with low emissions? These vehicles are the greenest on sale right now

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

VW to pay customer £25,000 following new Dieselgate ruling
Volkswagen

VW to pay customer £25,000 following new Dieselgate ruling

Volkswagen has lost a landmark court case in Germany and must now pay significant compensation
26 May 2020
VW emissions scandal: VW installed ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of cars, High Court finds
VW Emissions scandal update 2
Volkswagen

VW emissions scandal: VW installed ‘defeat devices’ in thousands of cars, High Court finds

The UK’s High Court has ruled that VW installed devices to cheat emissions tests in thousands of its cars
6 Apr 2020
Best diesel cars 2020
Diesel hatchback group test
Best cars & vans

Best diesel cars 2020

Covering all the bases, here's our view on the best diesel cars to have on your shortlist if you're buying a car in 2020
2 Jan 2020
Audi appoints Markus Duesmann as new CEO
Markus Duesmann - Audi CEO
Audi

Audi appoints Markus Duesmann as new CEO

Markus Duesmann will take up the position of Audi CEO on April 1 next year, replacing Bran Schot
15 Nov 2019

Most Popular

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
New Kia e-Niro 2020 review
Kia e-Niro SUV

New Kia e-Niro 2020 review

All-electric Kia e-Niro mid-sized SUV 
benefits from same updates as hybrid Niro versions
9 Jul 2020
New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range
Cupra el-Born

New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range

The sporty Cupra el-Born is the Spanish brand’s first all-electric vehicle – and it has a maximum claimed range of 310 miles
8 Jul 2020