The car manufacturing industry’s growing pollution problem

The car manufacturing industry’s growing pollution problem

Diesel cars manufactured by Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Mazda, and Honda have all been found to emit more pollution on the road than their regulatory tests have shown.  


VW emissions testing

(The Guardian)

In September, it was reported that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by misleading emissions testers into believing their diesel vehicles produce less pollution than they actually emit. This scandal caused a massive drop in the company’s stock and led to billion dollar lawsuits against Volkswagen. Rather than this being an isolated incident, it now seems like it could be a problem that plagues the car manufacturing industry.    


According to data recorded by Emissions Analytics, Mitsubishi’s and Mazda’s diesel cars produce around three times the mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions while on the road than were found in lab tests. Outside of the lab, Honda and Mercedes-Benz’s diesel vehicles had NOx levels that were around five times higher than the European emission standards. Emissions Analytics tested the pollution levels produced by 200 vehicles, yet only five of them had NOx levels that matched their lab results. Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Catherine Bearder recently spoke out against the diesel emissions problem facing the continent.   


“MEPs have been fighting for years to reform EU rules on diesel emissions-testing so they reflect real-world emissions. Yet the powerful car lobby and national governments have fiercely resisted these lifesaving changes,” said Bearder.  


The car manufacturers Honda and Mercedes-Benz say they want more tests added to the regulation process, despite their vehicles’ high pollution levels. A Mercedes-Benz spokesman stated that the company would like to see a Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) implemented, which would make for a stricter emissions testing process. While some car manufacturers may support additional testing, others have resisted change. The chief executive of the Renault car manufacturing company, Carlos Ghosn, doesn’t believe NOx emissions progress is possible until 2019 or later.


While the pollution problem grows, Bearder continues to fight for change, saying that European citizens “must not be made to wait any longer” for cleaner air.     


Should the WLTP become a part of the process? Will more car manufacturers be exposed for high NOx emission levels? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


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