A recent study has sparked fresh concerns over the widespread use of emissions-cheat devices in diesel cars across Europe. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), a staggering 75% of diesel cars on European roads are likely to be equipped with such devices, which allow vehicles to produce much higher levels of harmful pollutants than the permissible limits.
This revelation comes at a time when Europe and the world are grappling with the growing problem of air pollution, which poses severe health risks to millions of people. The study, based on extensive analysis of real-world emissions data, suggests that millions of European drivers unknowingly contribute to this crisis by driving cars that are far more polluting than advertised.
While the Dieselgate scandal of 2015 exposed the alleged use of cheat devices by many major carmakers, including Volkswagen, Renault, and Vauxhall, the latest study indicates that the problem is much more widespread than previously thought. The researchers behind the study have urged regulatory bodies to take swift and decisive action, warning that failure to do so could have devastating consequences for public health. Volkswagen faced billions in fines and emission compensation, and Vauxhall diesel claims are being pursued for models manufactured between 2008 and 2019.
Other sources, including the FIA Foundation, have corroborated the study’s findings. According to the organization, over 13 million vehicles across Europe are estimated to be equipped with cheat devices. These devices can significantly reduce the effectiveness of emission control systems, resulting in substantially higher diesel emissions than advertised.
The report has prompted calls for stricter regulations, tougher emissions standards, and greater transparency from car manufacturers. It has also highlighted the need for more research into the long-term health effects of air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths yearly, with low- and middle-income countries being the worst affected.
Environmental implications of using such devices
Defeat devices are software or hardware installed in a vehicle’s engine control unit to detect when the car is undergoing an emission test. During the trial, the device activates a mode that reduces the engine’s output of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides.
However, once the test is completed, the device switches back to normal operating mode, allowing the engine to produce higher levels of pollutants during regular driving. This results in vehicles emitting more pollutants than legally allowed, which can have significant environmental impacts.
One of the key environmental implications of defeat devices is air pollution. NOx is one of the primary pollutants released by vehicles, and it contributes to the formation of smog and acid rain, which can harm human health and damage ecosystems. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), diesel vehicles with defeat devices can emit up to 40 times more NOx than allowable limits.
Increased emissions from defeat devices can also lead to climate change. Pollutants like NOx and particulate matter contribute to the planet’s warming by trapping heat in the atmosphere. The European Environment Agency estimates that road transport accounts for 77% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2020.
Furthermore, defeat devices can damage the reputation of the automotive industry and undermine efforts to reduce emissions. Consumers trust companies to provide accurate information about the environmental performance of their vehicles.
Regulators must take urgent steps to address this issue and hold car manufacturers accountable for their actions. In the meantime, it is up to individual drivers to make informed choices and opt for vehicles that meet the strictest emissions standards. Failure to act now will only exacerbate the already dire public health crisis caused by air pollution.
Potential solutions for reducing vehicle emissions in the future
Electric vehicles are a promising solution to reducing diesel emissions. EVs are powered by electricity, meaning they produce no tailpipe emissions. They are also more energy-efficient, with a typical EV using about four times less energy than the average gasoline-powered vehicle.
The cost of EVs has historically been prohibitive for many consumers. However, this is changing rapidly as the price of EVs continues to decrease. EVs are now available at similar price points to traditional gas-powered vehicles. Incentives such as tax credits, rebates, and subsidies are also available to encourage consumers to switch to EVs.
Improving fuel efficiency is another potential solution to reducing vehicle emissions. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards mandate automakers to meet a set average fuel efficiency for their vehicles.
Alternative fuels such as natural gas and biofuels are other potential solutions to reducing vehicle emissions. Natural gas vehicles emit significantly fewer greenhouse gases than traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Similarly, biofuels are derived from renewable sources and can significantly reduce emissions.
Can I get my diesel claim if I have an affected car?
Filing a diesel emissions claim can be complex, especially if you own an affected car. They have become increasingly commonplace in recent years, with automakers facing lawsuits over emissions cheating scandals.
If you own an affected diesel vehicle, it is essential to know your rights and understand how to file a claim properly. ClaimExperts.co.uk offers a comprehensive guide outlining everything you need to know and the steps you need to take to file a diesel emissions claim successfully.