The diesel emissions scandal has rumbled on since the Volkswagen revelations emerged last year, but until recently not that many new details have hit the mainstream news.

That’s all changed this week with the publication of the results of a UK enquiry into diesel vehicles. The results of the enquiry are eye-opening – to say the least.

According to a report in The Guardian, the general findings of the government study point to diesel vehicles routinely emitting far more pollution in real-world tests than they do in a laboratory setting. Some of the diesel emissions revealed in the test exceed EU safety standards by as much as 12 times. 

37 different diesel cars were tested in the government study. “Not a single car” managed to meet current EU standards, with average diesel emissions five times higher than target limits.

Diesel Emissions and Volkswagen

The information above may lead you to question whether other car manufacturers have been involved in the kind of practices uncovered at Volkswagen last year. In fact, that’s not the case. The Department for Transport has stated that no devices intended to trick the tests were found in any other cars, and that “there have been no laws broken.”

Junior Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has stated that he’s disappointed that “the cars that we are driving on our roads are not as clean as we thought they might be.” Environmentalists will no doubt see this as something of an understatement.

It’s hard to see quite how the motor industry (and government) is going to move forward from here in any practical way. According to targets, by 2020 all diesels sold will have to comply with an 80mg/km diesel emissions limit. That’s all very well, but does little to address the countless diesel vehicles already on the roads pushing out far more pollution that anyone thought.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Volkswagen has reached a settlement deal in a court in California to make amends for their part in the diesel emissions scandal. Full details have yet to emerge, but it’s thought VW will have to pay out Billions in compensation, and offer to buy back nearly half a million vehicles.

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