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.
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.
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  and sends a strong signal that the European Parliament is serious about the reputation of ‘made in Europe’ vehicles and laws.
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.  For the first time the EEA has estimated the number of premature deaths from nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is largely created by diesel vehicles.
In order to continuously improve fuel economy information in the interest of customers, PSA Peugeot Citroën and the NGO Transport & Environment have agreed to work together to measure and publicise real-world fuel economy figures as a first step by spring 2016, and pollutant levels including nitrogen oxides (NOx) as a second step with Euro 6.2 passenger vehicles by spring 2017.
Industry and civil society groups working on transport have criticised today's State of the Energy Union speech by Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič for failing to prioritise e-mobility as a major means of decarbonising transport. The majority of EU states lag significantly behind Norway – where one out of every five cars sold is electric, the platform of 12 organisations, which includes power sector representative Eurelectric, railway operators' body CER, and sustainable transport group Transport & Environment, said.
Institutional investors with a total of €12 trillion of assets under management have called for EU policymakers to restore confidence in Europe's car emissions testing regime by introducing on-the-road testing for CO2 emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment said it highlights the importance of ending the systematic manipulation of car testing, and that this can only be achieved by establishing effective oversight of the EU car testing system – as announced by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday.
Transport & Environment (T&E) warmly welcomes the announcement by Commission President Juncker that the European Commission will introduce an effective oversight of the EU system for testing cars.
In the last few days several announcements have demonstrated how the initial exposure of Volkswagen’s cheating US tests is merely the tip of an iceberg of test manipulation. In the US more models, including models from Porsche, have been accused of having illegal levels of diesel NOx emissions. This was followed by VW admitting that it overstated fuel economy and CO2 figures by 10-15% on 800,000 vehicles, including petrol cars. In a further announcement, the environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Environmental Action Germany, DUH) exposed suspicious test results on an Opel Zafira. General Motors deny any wrongdoing.
EU governments have agreed to new limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel cars that are double the ‘Euro 6’ levels agreed back in 2007. They have also delayed the implementation of new limits for all new cars until 2019. From 2021, all new cars will still be allowed to emit 50% more NOx than the Euro 6 limit of 80mg/km.