The ‘Dirty 30’ highly polluting diesel cars in Europe and the national regulators failing to act

Transport & Environment has re-analysed the data from the national emissions testing programmes and identified 30 of among the highest polluting new diesel cars on Europe’s roads. The “Dirty Thirty” span across most carmakers with Renault (four), Mercedes (three) and Opel/Vauxhall (three) standing out. Each car was approved by one of seven national type approval authorities. Nine cars were approved in the UK; Germany and France each approved seven; the Netherlands approved three; Luxembourg two; and Spain and Italy one each.

These regulators have to date taken no legal action against any of the carmakers or taken forward more in-depth investigations to scrutinise whether the models used illegal defeat devices despite strong evidence that they did, including: inappropriate use of a ‘thermal window’ (29 models); high ‘hot restart’ emissions (23 models) and plain shut-offs after a certain time (at least one model). Urgent action is needed by national agencies (TAAs) to investigate these suspect emissions control strategies.