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Opel’s software emissions fix shows continuing failure of national enforcement

Today’s discovery by Belgian national TV that official Opel dealers have been modifying anti-pollution software in Zafira diesel cars without informing their customers is a further indication the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal is the tip of the iceberg. The software responsible for the functioning of exhaust after-treatment of Zafira 2014 series cars with a 1.6 diesel engine was being adjusted to have the cars emit three times less nitrogen oxide (NOx) than before the software update.

EU car testing proposals are a sticking plaster on a gaping wound

When French investigators swooped on Renault last week to seize computers, it was yet another stark illustration of the systemic failure of car testing in Europe. Their investigation is linked to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, where national testing authorities failed to detect or even investigate the cheating – despite being made aware of the exceptionally high on-road emissions.

Emissions scandal showed that tests must shift out of lab and onto the road

T&E’s contribution to exposing the failed system of EU car testing has been one of its key campaigns in 2015. The discrepancy between lab tests for dangerous nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and those produced on the road was shown to be on average a whopping 500% – and more for some models. But the year was memorable for the unravelling of the biggest emissions scandal in auto-industry history.

Protest at EU Environment Ministers meeting to discuss the quality of the air we breathe - MEDIA ADVISORY

BRAL Citizens Action Brussels, a Belgian NGO that aims at making Brussels more sustainable, will demonstrate in front of the European Council’s Justus Lipsius building (rue de la Loi 175, 1040 Brussels) tomorrow, Wednesday 16 from 11.30 a.m. as EU Environment Ministers to discuss air quality norms for 2030. The objective is to stress the urgency of taking strong measures to clean up the air we breathe and to push for stricter air quality limits.

European Parliament rejects ‘dieselgate’ pardon

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament today rejected a Member States’ proposal to weaken and delay nitrogen oxides (NOx) limits for diesel cars. Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes this decision as a step towards preventing new diesel cars from pumping out excessive toxic fumes. It also stops a decision considered illegal [1] and sends a strong signal that the European Parliament is serious about the reputation of ‘made in Europe’ vehicles and laws.

€27bn subsidy to diesel cars last year in lower fuel tax

Europe’s diesel cars received indirect subsidies totalling almost €27 billion last year through lower fuel taxes, a new study has found. Diesel fuel was taxed at, on average, 14 cent less per litre than petrol in 2014, according to Europe’s tax deals for diesel, which was published by T&E last month.

MEPs demand U-turn on weakening of emissions limits

The Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament has told environment ministers to ‘substantially modify’ a decision to weaken emissions limits for diesel cars when they meet on 16 December. The blunt demand adds to the opposition already expressed by the ALDE, GUE, Green and EFDD groups ahead of an environment committee vote next month on the controversial decision.

Peugeot Citroën and T&E to cooperate on real-world emissions testing

Carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën and T&E have agreed to work together to measure the real-world CO2 emissions of the company’s fleet – the first time a car manufacturer has accepted real-world fuel economy tests are possible. The two will devise methodology for on-road testing of PSA’s main passenger vehicles on public roads in spring 2016 with the results then being published. Real-driving emissions tests for NOx are expected by spring 2017.

75,000 deaths largely from diesel fumes the legacy of Europe’s lax vehicles limits and testing

Today’s finding by the European Environment Agency that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution is responsible for an estimated 75,000 premature deaths in Europe shows how deplorable EU governments’ watering-down of diesel car NOx emissions limits is. [1] For the first time the EEA has estimated the number of premature deaths from nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is largely created by diesel vehicles.

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