Diesel cars that fail new emissions test can’t be sold in UK

By Lisa Edwards
News entry dated 13th Sep 2017

Following the controversy over diesel car emissions, new tests have begun this month to check real-world diesel emissions on the UK’s roads.The test results will be used to crack down on polluting vehicles across the country – cars that fail can’t be sold in the UK. The testing allows for completely accurate readings on all types of diesel cars currently sold in the UK. The new tests are to combat the manipulation of the shorter, lab-based tests that were the subject of the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal that emerged in 2015.

Replacing lab tests

The new tests, launched on 1 September, assess cars on both urban and rural roads, as well as motorways. They use a new piece of measuring equipment located on the exhaust system of the car. The test is conducted over a 90-minute time span. The idea is that it will replace the current lab-based test.

The emissions test will be conducted on all diesel cars that are going to be sold to the UK market, as well as on existing models that are on the road over the coming months. The government believes that the new tests are stricter than those they replace and hopes they will stop any lingering questions from the Volkswagen ‘Dieselgate’ scandal.

 

 

(Credit – Pixabay)

 

Reducing NOx

The new, stricter tests will also help with the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel cars as part of Europe-wide measures to tackle the problem. By focusing on cars with better results, the government believes that air quality can be improved, as manufacturers will test their cars with the new system rather than the old one.

Such real-world testing was behind the original discovery that a number of Euro 6 diesel cars were emitting some six times more NOx in real world conditions than in lab tests.

Fixing the results

Models that were involved in the scandal had been purposefully engineered to skew their CO2 and NOx outputs in order for the vehicles to be classed as low-emitting. Other cars show that, when tested for longer periods (usually more than 20 minutes), their results became much higher. This would mean that they would pass the lab test, but emit higher levels of pollutants thereafter.

Transport Minister Paul Maynard said that the new tests are aimed at improving air quality around the country. From 2020, councils will be given new powers to enforce tougher restrictions on vehicles shown to be the highest polluters. The tests will help to meet rigorous new standards on the roads before the new rules come into place.

Diesel scrappage

The new tests come as more manufacturers report that they are offering scrappage schemes for their diesel models in an effort to deal with the problem for the public.

Hyundai is offering £1,500-5,000 off new vehicles to drivers who scrap Euro 1-4 emission rated vehicles registered before 31 December 2009. The vehicle must have been owned for at least 90 days. Fiat is offering up to £5,300 off any Fiat, Alfa Romeo or Jeep model as part of its scrappage scheme.

Other manufacturers to jump on the scrappage bandwagon include VW, Nissan, Renault, Audi, Toyota and Vauxhall. They are offering a range of different deals for diesel car owners. In addition to vague noises from the government about a scrappage scheme implemented by local councils, these offers may incentivise people to switch to hybrid or even electric vehicles in further efforts to reduce pollution on the roads.

The measures are all aimed at meeting the government plan to ban the sale of pure combustion engine cars from 2040, something that some car manufacturers believe is entirely unnecessary, as the market is already naturally heading that way.

Will live emissions testing on our roads lead to another diesel scandal? Are we doing enough to tackle air pollution? Leave a comment below to share your views. 

Comments

60 Comments on "Diesel cars that fail new emissions test can’t be sold in UK"

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Ed
Ed
While diesel cars produce NOx they also give far better fuel economy and produce lower amounts of CO2 so as we are being forced into changing over to petrol and hybrids the CO2 emissions rise adding to the global warming problem. By using electric vehicles CO2 emissions still rise as we are heavily dependent on fossil fuels for electricity generation, mineral extraction/refining and battery production. While targeting cars addresses some of the local NOx problem, what are the Govts plans to deal with the elephant in the room, the heavy emitters – long distance haulage, farm machinery, diesel trains, ocean… Read more »
Noel
Noel

You are right Ed.
Government ministers, who don’t understand the basic principles, let alone scientific analysis on how to combat pollution and are informed by engineers provided by those who stand to make the most money out of whatever half baked scheme is adopted.

ash
ash

Its all a joke on us. If we move to EV’s they will gradually be taxed more…Where are we going to get the power to charge all these EV’s? Build more Nuclear power stations? Reminds me of a time when government encouraged us to buy Diesel’s… Does anyone remember that? Now they are doing the same thing for EV’s. Then it will be EV’s are putting to much straine on electricity demands so we have to tax them to encurage less use… all bollox.

David
David
Agree Ed. Modern diesel cars are the least of the problem – HGVs, buses,trains and heavy commercial plant are the biggest polluters. However it is easier to attack the public motorist as they are without an effective pressure group.If they attack HGVs for example not only are the commercial operators going to be against it but so are our food producers and supermarkets and these have more clout with government. Also it wasn’t that many years ago the government were promoting diesel and why is it that diesel is now more expensive than petrol – it should be less expensive,… Read more »
Julius M
Julius M

Because of the way the petro-chemical industry has developed it is difficult to know what is the by product. Indeed it could be argued that petrol is the waste product after all the useful bits have been made – nylon, various plastics, synthetic robber (tyres), medicines, diesel. Less then half of a barrel of crude oil becomes petrol by volume, all the rest is used for something.

David
David

David
In every other country in Europe I have visited diesel is cheaper than petrol, I have just returned from Ireland,and the difference has been between 10c and 17c less.
The cheapest was 24 litres for 22 euros, I rest my face.

Another David.

oscar
oscar

HGV’s are ultra clean so much so there at edge of undriveable with the modern computer controlled systems in them they run so lean they almost can’t pull away and know a few that have had very close misses as lights go green they go to pull away have to wait for it to happen then other johnny thinks there letting them cut across at junction

oscar
oscar
Hi not to mention Gas fired equipement and coal/wood fires! quite amusing though as we got smashed over the head about coal powered power stations!! Yet there actually very clean as they use the outputs to make gypsum so the suplher etc is contained they didn’t tell you that did they! but no we are being lead round the corner once again to rape our pockets! Ive a 2 litre diesel which returns around 60mpg(gadget says 53 but that’s from new and has 150.000 on clock &a lot was pulling heavy trailer before i got it)im very smooth on the… Read more »
Vinny
Vinny

Hi Ed
I am fully agree with you.
This may be another scam which looks on face “environment issue ” but main purpose may be ” increase in sale in brand new car in next year “.

Michael
Michael
May I join the chorus of agreeement with you, Ed. What the government and the enviro-nannies seem to forget is that the world’s logistics run on diesel – there is no avoiding it. As for aiming to reduce NOx emissions, that only happens if CO2 emissions increase because the high level of NOx results from very lean (ie efficient) combustion. In other words, even if motorists aren’t bullied into suffering higher fuel consumption from switching to petrol, they will have to endure higher diesel fuel consumption on newer models anyway. Two things make diesel engines more efficient – the higher… Read more »
Rick Petch
Rick Petch
How much polluting crap do all these planes chuck out dropping it all over cities & towns, think of the tons of crap that is dropped over us every single day, where I live we are surrounded by power stations, my bungalow is covered daily by ash from the stations not counting the air pollution that comes from Scunthorpe steel works, my bird bath has to be cleaned out daily as in the bottom of the bath we have this pink sediment and all the window ledges are covered in ash as is my car but our council are not… Read more »
Rookie
Rookie

The CO2 improvement isn’t all that great, as 1litre of Diesel contains a lot more carbon than 1 litre of petrol.

A Bee
A Bee

A litre of petrol equates to 2.187 kg of CO2; a litre of diesel, 2.578 kg of CO2, 18% more.

roba
roba

Great to see HARD FACTS concerning diesel pollution for once, however you have fallen into the trap that so many commentators do. It is not the pollutant PER GALLON that matters – it is the pollutant PER MILE.
Thus, because a diesel will typically cover 60mpg rather than say 40mpg for a comparable petrol engine, your 2.578 kg of CO2 per gallon needs to be divided by 1.5 to give the correct comparison of 2.187 kg of CO2 for a petrol engine versus 1.719 kg for a gallons worth of travel.

Ed
Ed
Yep, like I said, they produce lower amounts of CO2. ~18% more CO2/L as A Bee says, but but far less CO2 per mile as Roba clarified. So why doesn’t the Govt understand NOx (NO/NO2) & PMs arent the only issue here. NO2 is highly hydrophilic so easily reduced by rain to form nitrates, CO2 persists for longer in the atmosphere. To reduce NOx cool the combustion temp (with hydrogen on demand or water injection) the technologies exist and have been lab tested to be effective, why the vehicle mfrs dont apply them is mystery to me. I guess they… Read more »
Ron
Ron

There are a lot of petrol cars that can return similar mpg as per diesel on the roads today so the original argument stands,
A litre of petrol equates to 2.187 kg of CO2; a litre of diesel, 2.578 kg of CO2, 18% more.

Richard P
Richard P

Think how long the queue will be on the M1001(2040) to recharge the batteries, as 1000s fight for a charging station. Mad Max here we come.

A Bee
A Bee

Most charging will likely be done at home and, given the changes over the last 5 years as EVs have just hit the mainstream, battery and charging technology will have probably moved on significantly in the next 23 years, just look at mobile phones as an example.

Charles
Charles

Unfortunately there are more houses without drives in this country than ones with them.
So where do you plug your ev in?.
Running cables across footpaths will soon lead to injury claimz being made as people trip over them in the dark.

David Smith
David Smith

What if you live in a flat on the 10th floor?

Trickcyclist
Trickcyclist

“Probably have moved on”? So I spend a hefty wedge of my hard earned to buy an electric car in the hope that one day I can drive more than 30 miles from my door and hope to get home again!

derek turner
derek turner

as an ex diesel fitter above interesting,but no mention of the REAL KILLERS the petrol engine there is far to much brain washing going on here
If we are really interested in pollution then all money to set up above new regulations should have been spent developing the hydrogen fuel sell as a means of power for all vehicles

carruthers
carruthers

Dead on – that is the future of transport worldwide! Forget electric and hybrid cars – they’re just a temporary side-show.
And where will the power to produce the hydrogen come from? From all the windmills and tidal power systems generating electricity in the middle of the night when nobody needs it – instead of wasting it, or just not using it, put the surplus grid output to work to churn out hydrogen 24/7.
And what is the raw material for all this? Water – it’s all around us!

D S Bastow
D S Bastow

I am over state pension age live in the rural area of Scotland a mile and a half to a five bus a day each way 30 miles any way to a supermarket and over a 100 miles to a city and the city has most NHS facilities and I am one of hundreds in the UK heavy oil is a must.

john odell
john odell

Move closer to a city then !

Roger
Roger

What a stupid reply. The person said they are over State Pension age. How do you expect some one who is elderly and needing Hospital facilities by the sound of it to up sticks and move. Where exactly would they move to. Also could they afford to move home. Think before you comment please.

K6rff
K6rff

Pointless idiot comment. Please try to remain focussed on the issue rather than making not so smart comments.

Trickcyclist
Trickcyclist

Dont want to do that John… them cities are all polluted apparently.

M Boardman
M Boardman

Shat if you have an old diesel car a d cant afford to buy a new car? It looks like I may loose having a car at all but I need one for work – have they thought through how it effects people with low incomes?

Cuntry Bumpkin
Cuntry Bumpkin

Touche! I am on a relatively low wage with an older but reliable diesel car with lower emissions than some newer ones according to mot results, and I am passed every day on my commute by numerous large 4 wheeldrive type luxury cars with only the driver within and wonder where the logic is within it all !

Trickcyclist
Trickcyclist

Im still driving a 1996 Rover diesel… I will have to change it shortly as I cant get spare parts for it any more… even a simple window trim had to come from Spain and an air cooling pickup pipe had to be sourced from Germany.. What will I buy…? Undoubtedly it will be a diesel.

carruthers
carruthers

You hang onto your old diesel car – nobody’s going to take it off you! As long as it passes the correct emissions test for its age then you can keep on driving it. Just don’t bank on driving into central London…!

But if you fancy a newer diesel car, the forecourts seem to be filling up with them…

JerryW
JerryW

Why just diesel? All fossil fuel cars pollute. All of them – including taxis, buses, artics etc – should be subjected to these “real world” tests instead of letting the manufacturers do it and supinely accepting their findings as we have up til now..

Martyn Maynard
Martyn Maynard

The Government are letting the car companies run rings around them. Some 2 years on Govenments still haven’t done any tests to establish if the VAG fix inproves real world emissions without damaging vehicles. They haven’t done the tests because they don’t want the know the answer

Jim
Jim

I have heard on the news that new electric minis will be built in the UK but the batteries will come from Germany! Isthere no company in this pathetic country of ours that can build batteries ? We are too reliant on others to survive

Adam
Adam

You are all forgetting the biggest users and polluters on the planet, they use multi millions of litres a day! Jet airliners.

Dee
Dee

It’s about time the UK Government stands up to car makers on this con on all of us.

Peter J Orchard
Peter J Orchard

Dee, have you ever known any UK government stand up for the ordinary person where motoring, or for that fact anything that affects them, because I cant. It’s all a “con” lead by the UK government.

Peter Worrall
Peter Worrall

What about planes and cruise ships.
They pump out more scrap than 20 cars put together

bishbut
bishbut

The debate is about NEW cars not Older ones or diesel v petrol v electric etc.

Ed
Ed
Not as I see it, they are encouraging diesel scrappage which affects older cars, and the incentives are for petrol hybrids and EVs. Most owners of old diesel cant afford EVs and there arent enough charge points in place for a rapid transition. The point relevant to diesel v petrol is that the CO2 balance favours diesel and CO2 is a major GHG so if the Govt really wants to make moves that benefit the environment it needs a plan that has been thought through. It needs to consider diesel haulage for which there is currently no viable alternative unless… Read more »
Stu
Stu

It is OK to introduce electric vehicles in 2040, but charging will be an issue. The thousands of touring caravan owners in the country will also suffer, and they bring billions to the areas they visit. The government has listened to the EU and the tree hugger’s again, who have the biggest lobby in Parliament, without thinking things through. But there again, you wouldn’t be a politician if you could.

John
John

So who is going to drive my car for 90 minutes? It’s a joke too far. After being encouraged to buy .”Clean diesel” I’m being persecuted.

Alan Todd
Alan Todd
There is a device on the market that reduces emissions of both NOx and CO2 from all engines and this from the manufacturer’s real world driving test results. It even cleans up a euro 6 Jaguar diesel engine and gives better fuel efficiency to all engines! So obviously even the newest cars could be cleaner than they are currently. Last time I mentioned it on here my comment was not published, presumably because I mentioned it by name, it could sound a bit like Carbon GON. If the government acknowledged that older cars can be improved and offered a reduction… Read more »
Allan
Allan
Having been in the electronics/electronics industry all my life 50 yrs + and a driver for over 50+ years I have little faith in the ability of manufacturers to come up with a viable mass produced battery that will be suitable for purpose despite the advent of technology. Whilst pollution is a problem the knee jerk reaction to the current problem of pollution is typical of government to pacify a minority of objectors. Most hybrid cars at present do little more than 30-40 miles on a full charge, which means a family trip is impossible to make as you would… Read more »
Martin
Martin

I was standing on Carlisle station a month ago when a Networkrail track test train pulled into a bay platform. The 2 class 37 diesel locos were left burbling away for the half hour before our train leaving a blue cloud hanging over the station. I also follow regularly several old buses that churn out clouds of blue smoke so put the whole diesel market into order, don’t just pick on Joe public in his diesel car!

RichMc
RichMc

EXCUSE ME!

Everyone is banging on about the evils of petrol and diesel, stop and think for a while.
Lithium ion batteries CANNOT be recycled they are going to be the biggest pollutant of our time, and the next obvious step will be to levy a tax on scrapping same, it’s not about the environment it’s all about taxation and always will be.

Andrew Gee
Andrew Gee

When will the results, by car make and model ,be published please ?

bill
bill

tomorrow 3pm

Ray
Ray

So all diesels that fail will have to be scrapped? Some people who have relatively new cars are going to lose a lot of money, don’t think they are going to be too happy. Is the Govt. going to do a scrappage scheme?

James
James
GDI engines have as great NOX and Particulate issues as their DDI counterparts but discussions re this are non existent. Diesel Euro 6 needs – aside from EGR’s, DPF’s and SCR also an independent means to raise temperature in the exhaust whether engine is running or not. Continental have developed a system but with 48V to do this. This should then enable Stop Start systems to function more ‘cleanly’ – I am not convinced they do at present. EV batteries use Lithium and the much more problematic to source (more wars?) Cobalt. Biggest Cobalt source is the DRC and China… Read more »
J Bastin
J Bastin

If the government invested in roads rather than pointless rail (HS2) projects then congestion would be reduced as would pollution. Furthermore if the road surfaces were properly maintained and resurfaced rather than re sprayed fuel economy would improve and pollution decrease. As far as UK Gov’t are concerned the road users are simply cash cows to funds the coffers for their total incompetence.

Johnno
Johnno

Far from “stopping any lingering questions over Dieselgate ” this new ruling is going to cause confusion with owners of car affected by Dieselgate and who now want to sell those cars.

Lisbeth
Lisbeth

How please can one find out if the New Audi A3 2litre diesel engine is OK? Thanks

Rick Petch
Rick Petch

Is this test just for brand new cars or for the older ones as well ?.

john
john

THE MAYOR WANTS ALL CARS OFF THE ROAD EXCEPT ELECTRIC CARS ,BEING A MILLIONAIRE HE CAN AFFORD THEM, I BEING A DISABLED PENSIONER CANNOT AFFORD A NEW CAR ,I DID’NT GETA MOBILITY CAR I WAS TOLD I WAS TOO OLD AT 64 AN I CANT CYCLE DUE TO MY DISABILITY I CANT EVEN GO BY BUS

Laci83
Laci83

I can totally understand you. I cannot afford buying a new car either even if I get 6500Pounds as a scrappage for my old car which is 2008 registered. I still not have at least 10000Pounds to put towards a new car. I think many people doesn’t have money to do that. But will be somebody able to stop me for 90minutes to do this test on my car?

John
John
There is no long term answer to this debate. The only real answer is to stop the increase in car ownership. Whatever the manufacturers do, somewhere along the line there will be manufacturing causing pollution. They never tell us how much pollution is caused by the manufacture of batteries for electric cars. How many rare earths etc are consumed and how long the supply of these components will be available. Whatever tax incentives the government offers, you damn well know that as soon as the majority of consumers get on to that particular train, the bastards will increase the tax… Read more »
Alan Todd
Alan Todd

When you mention batteries it makes me wonder what happens when you’re caught out in a flash flood that covers the batteries set low down in the car, or the electric motor gets flooded going through that water splash?
Arking from electric motors causes the production of ozone. Ozone can be a contributing factor in asthma. But electric vehicles don’t pollute, or do they?

Michael
Michael

WE have buses where I live running on biomass fuel, as are many farm vehicles I am told.I believe thIs improves the pollution problem considerably. Is there nothing that can be done to further improve fuel used in diesel vehicles to an acceptable standard?

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