By on October 4, 2015

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A researcher from Leeds University says that at least four other automakers’ cars are polluting above the legal limits for Europe, including Ford, BMW, Mazda and Mercedes-Benz, the Daily Mail reported.

James Tate, a researcher and lecturer at the university measured over 300 new cars to comply with new Euro 6 diesel emissions standards. According to Tate, Mazda’s diesel engines, on average, emitted more than six times the European limit for nitrogen oxide emissions in new cars. Ford’s cars may have polluted more, but Tate said the automaker’s sample size was too small to tell.

According to the report, Tate used a roadside sniffer for testing in the UK, similar to ones used in the United States.

“This research shows that building cars so they perform well in laboratory emissions tests but emit high amounts of NOx in real urban driving is an endemic practice across the industry,” Tate said, according to the Daily Mail. “There is very little known about how the manufacturers conduct their tests because they take place behind closed doors.”


Since the scandal involving Volkswagen broke, several industry groups and research agencies have reported discrepancies with automakers’ reports of legal diesel emissions. Automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have denied their cars have cheated emissions tests.

Interestingly, Tate said Volkswagen’s diesel cars weren’t the most-heinous offender.

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129 Comments on “UK Researcher: Basically Every Diesel Automaker is Illegally Polluting...”


  • avatar
    Lack Thereof

    The article is unclear as to whether they are alleging “test mode” shenanigans like VW was caught doing, or if simply driving the cars harder than the test spec produced the extra emissions. I know the euro tests are further out of touch with modern driving reality than the US tests, so it’s possible the problem is the latter.

    • 0 avatar
      benders

      One of the source papers speculates that for SCR, the manufacturers are using a conservative urea dosing. It would be easy enough to calibrate for the test conditions and but never inject more than they would need to pass the test to extend the urea refill interval and to ensure they’re not sending ammonia out the tailpipe.

      This might also explain the lower measured levels from big trucks because truck engines change speeds more slowly than passenger car engines and thus could have more accurate urea dosing.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Cars more or less don’t work that way. Atmosphere, quality of diesel, variable valve timing, and wear and tear on the engine itself are the largest contributors to how a car pollutes. These tests are most likely duplicating there tests in ‘real world’ conditions. So driving at a higher RPM would give off more emissions by using more fuel but it should be linear. His statement is that they’re giving off more than they should at the given measure.

    • 0 avatar
      bludragon

      Yep. Much better to go to the actual source, rather than the Daily Mail (tabloid) article: http://www.its.leeds.ac.uk/about/news/implications-of-the-vw-scandal/

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yeah, so by “illegally polluting” he seems to really mean “perfectly legally polluting”.

      Because if – as is likeliest – there is no Cheat Mode Software in the ECU, he’s really complaining that the required standards and testing do not reflect roadside conditions.

      (“Rather than laboratory tests that don’t test cars on gradients or on corners, Dr Tate says testing cars in ‘real-world’ conditions gives a more accurate picture.

      Testers used a Remote Sensing Device to record exhaust emissions as vehicles drove by on public roads. The tests are tightly controlled and widely used across the United States to monitor compliance of clean air rules.”

      Yeah, so, he’s confusing “standards that aren’t what he likes” with “breaking the limit” – the limit isn’t emissions, it’s emissions under *specified test conditions*.

      That and guessing from a remote sensor seems kinda dubious. I mean, that’s *sketchy*.

      Probably the best they can do and, from the picture, not as sketchy as it could be, but … still, it’d be nice if they could directly measure at least a car or two.))

  • avatar
    NutellaBC

    A study by the ICCT on European vehicles also shows clearly that VW is among the “least worst” offenders. I don’t understand why nobody is talking about this.
    It almost looks like a concerted effort to destroy a company IMO ( from an European emissions standpoint)

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Looks more like an agenda to bring a more than competitive company down , than any emissions problems as such. I wonder when the next Toyota ” disaster” will occur?

    • 0 avatar
      VCplayer

      If someone can find a defeat device in other manufacturer’s vehicle, it will be a big deal. The VW scandal isn’t about pollution really, it’s about flagrantly cheating the government’s testing.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Bingo. VW cheated at a level that is newsworthy which is kind of sad.

      • 0 avatar
        NutellaBC

        Obviously, based on real road tests according to ICCT, the vast majority of EU market diesel cars are way over the EU certified limit which begs the question as how did they pass the emission test in the first place if they didn’t game the system ? Interestingly, the least polluting EURO6 vehicle is a VW TDI.
        This doesn’t not absolve VW from its having cheated on the US test but it looks someone somewhere decided to go after VW.

        • 0 avatar
          NOPR

          The limit you speak of is only valid for one test, the NEDC. Every car passes this test without using a defeat device (except VW) and it is the only legal requirement. What they’re claiming here is that on different tests, they get different results. Go figure.

          • 0 avatar
            NutellaBC

            VW has not admitted to using a defeat device outside the US. They most likely don’t need the “rest of the world” emissions are much less strict than the US.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “how did they pass the emission test in the first place if they didn’t game the system ?”

          The EU tests aren’t very good.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          “You get what you enforce”.

          The requirement is X emissions in a defined test regime, not X emissions No Matter What On The Road.

          VW’s sin was using a special “testing only” mode that they turned off on the road, not the mere fact of emitting more NOx while on the road.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “VW’s sin was using a special ‘testing only’ mode that they turned off on the road, not the mere fact of emitting more NOx while on the road.”

            That is a critical distinction that most of those who post here are missing.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Though to be strictly logical, the regs said that the numbers had to be met at the time of testing.

            It was one hell of a “king’s X” fib by VW, but they DID meet the letter of the law, though certainly not the spirit.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            DOJ and EPA have ruled (for Heavy-Duty truck Engines in 1998) that while the testing is limited to certain operating points, emission control strategies need to be consistent at all operating points. Cummins, Caterpillar, Mack, Detroit Diesel, Volvo, Renault and Navistar all paid fines and had to reduce future engine emissions below EPA standards and fund other emissions mitigation projects for doing what VW has done..

            http://www.justice.gov/enrd/diesel-engines

  • avatar
    insideinsights

    The Daily Mail article clearly states that Tate tested emissions driving on UK roads. Only the government prescribed lab tests determine official compliance. Tate just states the obvious: Cars pollute more on the road than in the lab. What makes this illegal, as implied by the headline? Worthless article.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      It is fairly obvious that James Tate is a troll, or at the very least, infected by VW fan-boy-ism.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        But who is bigger troll, the troll or the troll who blogs it?

        I agree, this is a worthless article and diminishes the TTAC brand.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I’ll offer the invitation that anyone who dismisses research out of hand should take up: Look at the study. Examine the methodology. Come back here and provide a point-by-point refutation if you see problems.

        Your current avatar is a big glass house from which to be throwing accusations of trolling.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          Couldn’t agree more, 30-mile fetch.

          Labeling a university researcher a troll is typical of the armchair experts here on TTAC who basically know SFA about anything but have deep, hard-hitting opinions that in the real scheme of things amount to a large pile of scat.

          I read the artcle, downloaded the .pdf. Let’s see redav tear it to shreds from a technical viewpoint.

          What I find most interesting are two things:

          1. Small diesel cars are emitting more NOx per kilomete than Euro VI compliant buses and trucks.

          2. Gasoline engines are generally pretty much up-to-snuff emissions wise.

          That’s my takeaway. Also, even if VW emits less NOx than other diesels on the road, it still does not excuse them for cheating on the testing mode.

          Having read the rest of the comments, I still wonder why many people here cannot tell the difference between CO2 and nitrogen oxides. The latter have been talked about since before car engines got pollution controls, and was the prime cause of LA smog way back in the 1950s. As a kid, I was amazed at the photos in LIFE showing people wearing masks, much like Beijing today.

          So, if some doink here thinks that the NOx is harmless and we’re all making too much of a big fuss about it, let me be charitable and state they need some education. Sitting at a keyboard typing away does not an expert make. Some reading, understanding and memory retention is required, not a blanket condemnation that the researchers must be left-wing fifth columnists intent on destroying the US way of life.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            wmba – I’ve said this before, people don’t search for the truth, they search for validation of their beliefs. Anything that does not validate one’s beliefs is attacked in one way, shape or form.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Who’s dismissing research?

          I dismiss claims of it being “illegal.” The research results are no different than real-world mpg numbers not matching EPA numbers.

          For example: “Rather than laboratory tests that don’t test cars on gradients or on corners, Dr Tate says testing cars in ‘real-world’ conditions gives a more accurate picture.”
          The conclusion is that the tests are deficient, NOT that any company is doing something illegal.

          There may be illegal actions perpetrated by the car companies, but this study does not demonstrate that, and such claims are inappropriate until that is specifically demonstrated.

        • 0 avatar
          EAF

          Exerpt from the study;

          “It should be noted that the RSD technique has both advantages and
          disadvantages compared with techniques such as those that use rolling roads or engine test beds. A key difference is that the RSD measures emissions as „snapshots‟ in time, and not over full legislative test cycles such as those used for European emissions type approval testing.”

          “…the results from the RSD are valid over the conditions under which the measurements were made i.e. urban-type driving conditions, and did not provide information on emissions under other conditions e.g. motorway driving.”

          ^^^ As pointed out by several TTAC posters above.

          If you search Accu Scan 4600 RSD, the equipment James Tate used, you can download a .pdf file of an EPA study that goes into painful detail of why RSD tends to overstate HC, CO and NO2. It also infers, (mathematically since RSD cannot scan NOx directly), that NOx emitted by all classes of vehicles have been on a steady decline.

          Shall we stick to FTP?

          P.S. My avatar isn’t an attempt at trolling, just a bit of irony.

  • avatar

    Considering the liberal environmentaltreehugginghipsters have made

    “CO2 a POLLUTANT”

    WE ARE ALL POLLUTING just by EXHALING.

    I can’t believe what’s happening to this country.

    I need President Trump to stop this as soon as possible.

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      I had sort of begrudgingly liked your posts. Today when you said “I need President Trump to stop this as soon as possible” that went away. You apparently exist in an alternate universe….just like Trump.

      • 0 avatar

        MY WORDS need no cosigners.

        You won’t be so uppity when President Trump is sworn in

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          So help us God.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Yup, the new Comb-Over In Chief will fix everything.
          Deport all of those Mexicans, send all of those terrorist refugees home, make women in power post their menstrual cycles (gotta explain blood coming out of their eyes), issue paper bags to “less attractive woman” (sounds kinda MiddleEastern), publicly disown/ridicule any soldier who has been captured (He must like ISIL since they kill captives), all “blacks” or anyone of colour will have to get their birth certificates validated on a routine basis.
          All is fine as long as you have a beautiful piece of ass.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            If only, realistically nothing would change because ultimately he’s controlled opposition. Even if they did select Trump to be the figurehead the devolution will continue, the time for real change was twenty years ago.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Re: The “Trump-eter’s” plan to deport all the illegal/undocumented aliens, which he seems to believe are one and the same with Mexicans–I believe it was the journalist Jorge Ramos of Univision, who was also the journalist who was briefly kicked out of one of “the Donald’s” press conferences, who pointed out that Trump was talking about something like 11 million people, and he pointed out that it would require 747’s full of people departing every minute of every night and every day for years.

            Not to mention what it would cost, and its impact on those who used to believe in “give me your tired, your poor…” and who now are faced with “get the hell off the White House lawn.”

            While I don’t like Trump’s pomposity, what truly distresses me is his complete lack of a sense of what can and cannot be done, and what the true cost of his plans might be.

            Pure grandstanding, in the best/worst Huey Long tradition. Sort of like a Florida politician of the early twentieth century, who managed to reverse his poor standing in the pre-election polls, by trumpeting far and wide in the weeks leading up to the election, that his opponent, who had supported making Florida’s colleges co-educational, had “been in favor of young men and women matriculating with each other in our colleges!”

            As long as Donald, and a few other politicians on both sides of the aisle, can find enough dumb voters, such fearmongering and innuendo will continue to propel idiots to the top of our government.

            And what do the voters think Trump will do to the dollar, given the way he financed, then bailed when the going got rough, in building his own “empire”.

            Kind of scary that he would be able to appropriate money to some of his boondoggles with little or no pushback from Congress. One four year term would be enough to put the dollar in the same category as the stocks and bonds of some of his companies.

            I thought Romney vs. Obama was a bad non-choice. But now that I am seeing that Trump vs. Clinton is possible for 2016, it seems to be the impossible…an even worse Hobson’s choice.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      BT,

      This article is quite plainly and obviously about nitrogen oxide emissions. How did you get back to CO2? I know it’s you go-to, but could you read the article first?

      You are becoming a parody of yourself, if that’s possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Psst….CO2 is a pollutant given that much of it was sequestered in carbon deposits in the form of Coal in the earth over the last 4-5 Billion years. This is a convenient anti-science argument because you’re not smart enough or intentionally ignorant to the more complex argument being put forward. We all kind of uniformly get you, CJ, and now HDC are kind of the kooky RWNJ of the community of a center-right group already but you don’t get your own facts.

      Brush up on science before you take another swing and miss.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Xer, there’s nothing right-wing about me. Having started life as a Democrat in a union household I became a Republican when I started paying taxes after I enlisted in the Air Force.

        Once I retired from the Air Force 20 years later, I became a registered Independent and vote for the best qualified candidate, regardless of political party.

        You have a sloppy way to draw conclusions about me for someone claiming to be what you are. I’m thankful MY professors had their act together and gave me an education that has paid off for me.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          highdesertcat – “Far right” is more than just a political position. Many of your comments over various topics on this site puts you in that area Xeranar is referencing.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Lou, the further west one goes in America, the more the values and views change from those of the liberals and progressives.

            Plenty of left wingers are licensed to carry concealed weapons, for instance.

            Plenty of Independents like myself as well, who can see merits to programs on both sides of the aisle.

            My views on healthcare in America, as an example, are to place everyone who cannot afford healthcare coverage on MedicAid. I support that.

            Hell, that’s what we do for illegal aliens in this country, free healthcare, pre-natal care, mental health coverage. etc

            And New Mexico is a sanctuary state, which means everyone is welcome.

            Of course as a state, we encourage illegals to move on to the Blue States of the East by allowing them ID status symbols like a drivers license, bank accounts, motorvehicles, etc.

            My views are not much different from the ‘crats in my area. And like the ‘crats in my area, we all excel at avoiding to pay more taxes than we are forced to by participating in the underground or shadow economy.

            And THAT may be harder to do in states where the cradle-to-grave government mentality is rampant.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Oh please, HDC. Nothing you support fiscally or economically leans towards the left. You also seem to have some normative center-right views on social issues as well. You can keep denying it but it’s written ALL OVER YOUR POSTS. I embrace the fact that I’m a far-left, denying you’re far-right is just silly. By the way, nice ad hominem to add deflection to your statement. Really makes me know I struck a nerve when you have to go for my credentials. :)

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Xer, if I was far right I would not have paid $4K for an abortion for my wife’s niece.

          You didn’t strike a nerve with me at all. Those kids who have been indoctrinated in your line of thinking are the ones who find themselves ill prepared for the real world because of unrealistic expectations.

          They are the ones unemployed after graduation, can’t find anyone to hire them and who had to move back in with mom and dad, while lingering in O’s welfare line on MedicAid.

          Millions of jobs unfilled in the US and nobody will hire these lefty losers because they spell trouble for any employer. You should be proud.

          Remember that old saying, “Those who can, DO. Those who can’t teach.”

          You’re entitled to your opinion and political views. Even your own ideology. That’s your right. But don’t go labeling people you know absolutely nothing of and about.

          Those people you label may be even more successful than you consider yourself to be.

          And if O and the ‘crats work for you, I say SUPER!

          Just don’t expect me to help pay for your uber-left liberal greenweenie tree-hugging crack-pipe dreams in a utopia far, far away.

          I only reply if someone’s comment is response worthy, OR, as is the case with your off the wall accusation about me being a right winger, just plain dead wrong.

          Oh, and BTW, there are tons of liberal democrats who carried concealed as well. Does that make them right wingers?

          You’re wrong dude. But you’re too proud to admit it. Man up.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            HDC,
            You don’t prove you aren’t a right wing nut job by posting such intimate details about your family. You do it by sticking to the subject at hand (CARS!) and omitting your politics and personal peccadilloes.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            VoGo, your opinion is your opinion. Like an @sshole, we all have at least one.

            I believe my reply succinctly illustrates that I am far from a right-winger.

            Address Xer for making his [email protected] accusations about me being a right-winger. The right-wingers I know in MY area consider me more considerate of the socialist-welfare state than they are. (To be more precise, I think it is great as long as I don’t have to pay for it)

            And plenty of liberal-left ‘crats in my area are against homosexuality as well. We’re not all like you or Xer. But it takes all kinds to make the world go’round.

            I didn’t start this, but I would be remiss to fail to point out to Xer the error in his ways of thinking about me.

            If you don’t like it, move on. Plenty to read elsewhere.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Xer,
            At HDC’s request, I am responding to your accusation that he is a right winger. Please continue writing the truth. HDC has dumped so many negative opinions and lies about Obama and Democrats on this site, that he obviously is in the pocket of the Koch brothers, Roger Ailes and company.

            HDC may not be willing to be honest about his true intent, but I appreciate that you are.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        So… what makes that a “pollutant”?

        (Is it just “pollutant is anything the speaker decides is unwanted”?

        I mean, that’s not actually a bad definition – it’s just that nobody else is obligated to accept it.

        And “it was buried for a long time!” is not really a great argument for “it’s a pollutant”; was it one before it turned into coal?

        If so, why? If the reason is “well, because it got buried for a billion years” [PS. the carboniferous period began 360MY ago, not 5 billion], note that that is not actually an argument for it being “a pollutant”.

        Try again, with actual “science”.)

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          (I mean, I can *see* why some people consider it to be one today; because they’re really worried about the IPCC model being right and Scary Global Warming.

          [As you might imagine, I’m not worried about that – especially since under that model, there is *exactly zero* chance of the world stopping carbon emissions enough to do *anything at all*.]

          But that’s *not* “it was buried and now it’s not so it’s a pollutant”.

          See?)

      • 0 avatar
        jdogma

        Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 ppm before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today. We are now having great crop yields and plant growth as a result. Plant growth stops at 200ppm. The only reason CO2 is being called a pollutant is so it can be taxed. Everything you eat, the wood in your house, all living things, are made of carbon in large part – all of which has to be taken from the atmosphere. For all the CO2 we put in the atmosphere, it is at less than 1/2 of 1/10th percent!

    • 0 avatar
      fishiftstick

      President Trump, huh? I’m ever more grateful to be Canadian.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Remember when you were told as a kid to not make fun of the short bus kid. Well, bigtruck is that short bus kid. Kinda not good to argue with the short bus kid. Exhaust does nothing bad to the environment or your health. Chalk him up as pure entertainment.

      • 0 avatar

        Short Bus kids aren’t cashing FAT CHECKS at the end of each month and driving fast gas-guzzlers on their own dime. Nor do they maintain mortgages.

        Try again.

        My intelligence is impossible to insult. My logic is undeniable.

        • 0 avatar
          darkwing

          I’m sorry, are you attempting to describe yourself, or all the people you sell liar loans to?

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          If there are fat checks, why have a mortgage?

          I mean, I don’t even care about the issue or posturing or anything, or if you were serious about “President Trump” [I assumed it was a joke, myself].

          It just seems weird to brag about getting paid a whole lot and also about having a mortgage – *not* having a mortgage is a lot more impressive, know what I mean?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “My intelligence is impossible to insult. My logic is undeniable.”

          Perfect examples of how doctrinaire belief clouds judgement, logic, and the ability (or inability) to discern the truth.

          BTSR does not sound much different than Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “My intelligence is impossible to insult. My logic is undeniable.”

          Do you also get a hole in one on every hole when you golf and do not defecate as well?

          If so I think we found where Kim Jong Il has been hiding.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      BTSR is a Trump supporter. Color me shocked. I guess Trump the Presidential candidate who speaks in all caps the most.

      • 0 avatar

        His money is a like a megaphone.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “His money is a like a megaphone.”

          Yup, if rich you are eccentric, if poor you are just plain nuts.

          I don’t use a biopsy of one’s wallet as a basis of one’s personal worth.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I saw this quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson and I thought of BTSR:

            ‘The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.’

          • 0 avatar
            jdogma

            VoGo – Science is study through observation and experiment. As such it is neither true nor false. The findings may be either and are subject to further study. Because Neil deGrasse Tyson says otherwise does not make it so.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            jdogma – science is the systematic study of what is around us. It is what it is (true) whether we interpret it correctly or not. Believing the results just happens to be another issue.

            Dogma happens to be principles laid down and are to be observed as irrefutably true.

            Doctrine happens to be beliefs laid down by religion, politics and even science. Usually in the form of dogma.

            Problem is that too many people interchange dogma and belief with what is reality (i.e. true).

            We don’t search for truth we search for the validation of our beliefs.

            (Why do I have to keep saying that over and over again?…that was rhetorical!)

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I really don’t know where this is leading to. Seems to me this is an attempt to just attack auto manufacturers.

    After all, are you not supposed to prepare for the testing? You should not cheat and make it so you ONLY pass for testing, but the entire real-life possibilities would be a bit much to ask makers to test for. Are manufacturers now supposed to test with total weight capacities at all life driving situations? Should they fill the car to the max with fat Americans with all their luggage and test up mountain roads???

    I would imagine ALL engines are being made to pass the testing and not being tested for ALL real-life situations and driving realities. It would be impossible.
    You are expected to pass a test…so you prepare for that test. Hopefully the testing is replicating life.

    Hell…our schools teach simply so kids pass testings and not ready for all life’s needed knowledge.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      This is leading to either the elimination of diesel powered passenger cars by setting emissions standards so as to make them undrivable, OR a backlash against environmental agencies for pursuing an agenda.

      I would be happy with the latter, if only to stir my lazy elected officials to stop giving blank checks to unelected bureaucrats, though I’d prefer they insist the regulators perform a cost-benefit analysis before issuing any new regulations.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “the elimination of diesel powered passenger cars”

        I don’t get what’s wrong with that. Diesels for small vehicles seem to be only a dirty and dangerous indulgence that harms the general public, much like cigarettes.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          Hey, now. That’s uncalled for.

          Cigarettes realistically only harm the smoker – “secondhand smoke” damage in almost all circumstances is more mythical than real.

          If someone wants to hate on diesels, NOx is chump change, let’s talk particulates.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        Should their standards be different than those for gasoline vehicles?

        For many years diesels have been cut slack. Emissions were set on best available technology for each type of vehicle (gasoline or diesel). This allowed diesels to put out more NOx and PM than their gasoline counter parts. Starting in the early 2000’s emission standards in the US were set on vehicle (or for heavy duty on engine) regardless of the fuel. This is why VW stopped selling diesels for a little while when these standards were implemented.

        As far as this article, its just click bait. I don’t see where there is any sign of the other automakers cheating. All cars emit more when operated off-cycle (VW was caught because they emitted larger than normal amounts when off-cycle). Cheating is where your control algorithm is different off-cycle than on-cycle. This is what VW is accused of (and Navistar and other HD engine makers paid fines for in the 1990’s).

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      Again, I’m not sure where people are confusing economy of fuel with emissions. Weight in the vehicle has limited effect on emissions at a given RPM which is what the test does. In fact, I’m not sure why anybody would assume this is the model they used given the people doing the research are scientists themselves with advanced degrees.

      Arguably this is a push towards eliminating diesel by admitting that they can’t make it economical to not pollute using it. I welcome electric cars with open arms.

      • 0 avatar
        HerrKaLeun

        Xeranar: More weight, more load at given acceleration = more emissions. You know, under more load more fuel needs to get burned.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          Yes, but that’s not what they’re measuring. In fact, that would be a pointless truism. What their research says is that given the measurement of these cars at statistical averaged sites they’re producing far more pollution. So no, weight and acceleration could be a MINOR factor at best but this would presume they’re all driving around with their near-limit amounts and gunning it the whole way. Even then they would be struggling to exceed legal limits if they’re under the cap.

          The linearity of increased effort doesn’t create multiple folds of impact. The argument is bunk and the scientists could explain their methodology in greater detail to point out why it’s bunk. If anything, their measurement points are probably getting a slightly more diluted version, so any given measurement even adjusted is probably conservative given to the inaccuracy of the measurement system. So if you’re getting 6 TIMES the legal limit and not 6% over, you’re full blown cheating and not simply hammering it around town.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Companies are building vehicles to pass tests not function appropriately in the real world. That is the problem.
    That sort of thing happens all of the time with written exams and simulated skill exams. I’ve done enough of both and at times found the examination process was of little value at assessing “real world” competency. If I knew in advance the evaluation wasn’t very realistic I’d study and modify my approach to pass. I’ve been in situations where I argued that the evaluations weren’t realistic but for the most part that fell on deaf ears.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou,
      When I first started my job, advancement was based on proficiency. Now it is based on competency.

      Also, the way assessment are done to sample, whatever is significant. This alone can alter an outcome.

      In education you have training levels and assessing levels. The same methodology can be transferred across to pollution/emission testing.

      For example when you train a person to defuse a bomb his training and assessing level would be extreme. As in many instances his first exposure will be deadly. But, the greater the training and assessing the greater the costs.

      The same can be said for emissions testing.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        oh please, when you started your job it was based on competency as well. You just like telling yourself you were better than the current crowd.

        In general, the issue is that we’re doing less training overall and pressing people to be better from the get go as untrained critical thinkers which is good in that they’re likely to advance more intellectually but lack that critical knowledge for intimate effectiveness in a given field. But again, most employers care if you’re on time and show up than if you’re the epitome of your field outside of some very specific skill set jobs.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Xeranar,
          There is differences between being proficient and competent.

          CBT is different than using a syllabus to teach for starters.

          A curriculum as is used in CBT can only assess on the material given. You can’t incorporate previous knowledge.

          CBT was initially started to train simple process and production line workers for unskilled tasking. This is where competency or successful, not yet successful started.

          There is no more pass or fails in our system. The system is geared to the lowest common denominator, which is generally some unionised school teach and not the students.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            If you think the educated teacher or professor is the LCD you’re out of your head. The issue I face routinely in my classrooms is that some of my students are questionably below proficiency in a number of areas but the school system pushed them out because our system prefers to rely on false measurements of proficiency (like graduation rate and obnoxious standardized tests).

            The fact that you double-down on unions is just telling you’re bound to want to keep arguing some unrelated concept.

            If we’re talking about professional degrees and professional careers: Yes, to be a lawyer/Doctor/PhD/Certain certified Science fields you need to be proficient. But in almost every other position and nearly every aspect of business you’re required to be competent.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Oh xenanar,
          I was referring to advancement in career or job, not assessing.

          For us we must be paneled to sit a board with at a minimum a Senior Engineer, sometimes psychs and other SME’s (subject matter experts).

          In the real world proficiency overrides competency by a long shot, unless you are unionised, so the benchmarks are set lower.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BigAl – do tell how proficiency is different than competency?

            Proficiency – a high degree of competence

            Competence – the ability to do something successfully or efficiently

            Interestingly enough proficiency is listed as a synonym for competency and vise versa.

            I have to agree with Xeranar. One needs both knowledge and critical thinking ability. Critical thinking for most people needs to be taught. Once that is learned then one can apply knowledge they have gained to deal with situations that weren’t directly taught.

            Rote performance of an expected action does not require knowledge nor does it require any critical thinking.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            In my experience (not that this necessarily has anything to do with the argument at hand) at farming, proficiency and competency are two complementary, but ultimately distinct concepts. Competency is how fully one understands the process (often mechanical) of how to complete a task, and is usually obtained through observation; proficiency, OTOH, is how that understanding applies itself unconsciously to the betterment of a skill, and is obtained almost exclusively through practical experience.

            Not to say that competency is a useless virtue. Competency is very good; invaluable, even. But consider the following example: I sat at a tractor throughout my formative years and gained competence at knowing which lever did what, how to slow down, speed up or change direction, how to raise and lower implements or engage the PTO, etc. But it was only this year, after over 10 years of practice, that I realized I had shifted and made a three-point-turn in reverse while looking in a completely different direction. I had gained the type of proficiency that I had previously envied in my father–the machine reflected the man’s will, to go a little Hemingway there. “And it was good and true, not like the falseness that so pervades the lives of lesser men, and then we retired to a little cafe on the boulevard, and had very good sandwiches. They were also good and true, full of good sandwichy things…”

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – good story.

            In some respects “competency” is the ability to do a task well and “proficiency” is the ability to do that task well and quickly.

            Not all competencies are time sensitive.

            I recall a very simple explanation of learning a new skill. We have basically 4 stages to move through:

            Stage 1: Unconsciously Incompetent. (We don’t know we don’t know anything)

            Stage 2: Consciously Incompetent. (We know we don’t know anything.)

            Stage 3: Consciously Competent. (We know what to do but we have to think about it.)

            Stage 4: Unconsciously Competent. (We don’t need to think about performing a skill, we just do it).

            I’d have to say that you are at Stage 4.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            That’s a neat way of putting it. My father was at stage 4 before I was even born.

            I will again stress that I have no dog in this metaphorical fight. Whatever definition we come up with here of competency vs. proficiency is just fine by me.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            CBT is based on training and assessing levels.

            Here in Austalia to become a trades person you only need be trained and assessed to a Certificate 3 level.

            Diploma is Certificate 5.

            So, you can see the difference in each level of competency.

            The problem on the “floor” is people do receive training and receive levels of competencies. This levels out the playing field a little, a little too much.

            I do believe when we were assessed as proficient we had to display much more than the basics in our jobs.

            You can only be assessed on the assessment criteria and learning outcomes with CBT.

            But with proficiency based assessing you can be assessed on what is deemed necessary to fulfill a particular role.

            This can be quite diversified within a trade structure. Whereas CBT everyone is assessed using the same learning outcome and assessment criteria.

            I’m not talking enterprise specific training either. Enterprise specific training will suit individual businesses and models. But, this will cost more as the tradesman must complete his trade competencies prior to taking on the enterprise specific competencies.

            So, at the end of the day just being a carpenter might not be enough, especially with all of the modular building systems around.

            Or, even a motor mechanic. Each manufacturers will have differences that must be assessed.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BigAl – I’m not sure what you mean by CBT. In my world it is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A common method of treating various psychiatric disorders.

  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    If you want perfection than push for it! Technology is held back from production because of cost. but cars sell by insane numbers for insane prices. There is no reason why regulations are as dumb as they are. no reason at all to have people running things that dont have the right experience in creating effective testing that actually helps build progress towards better actual emissions. None of it really makes sense! Its all mirrors and now the smoke is being introduced…

    VW should just get some crazy fine that is used to improve the epa in a way that they dont suck! CARB sucks too! They are entities that have no grasp on reality. Just exist because of bureaucrats. A auto maker should pride themselves on being so clean and perfect that they do all the best emissions preventative measures the world knows of currently and has media conferences weekly about how they try there best at no cost to the public to be clean. Whether they effect anything or not the issues still lay in the hands of the auto makers. I hate the stench of diesel exhaust now and before it was choked up. BOTH SUCK! I see no reason why they cant clean things up. People a very rich because of the excuses as to why. You cant build greatness from lies! Seems like VW is just getting what it deserves and hopefully it follows to all diesel car Manufacturers! Hope they all burn! LOL

  • avatar
    Duaney

    I still don’t know why diesel emissions is such a big deal when tobacco kills many thousands more. Why doesn’t the EPA regulate this big killer?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Duaney – just look at America’s war on drugs and you will see the answer to your question. Banning an addictive substance as opposed to regulating it just turns it into a high profit market for organized crime. Tobacco should be taxed at a rate that offsets medical costs.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        BC…you’re kidding, right? I get you feelings about life-style choices and effects to others….but…where does it begin and where does it end?

        I really do feel your pain. But what about other stupid choices? What about the expenses resulting from those idiots last year that took their infant child on a boat cruise across the world…and ended up having the US fleet search for and save them? Other public emergency cost?

        I mean, what else shall we do to counter lifestyle expenses passed on to society?
        Perhaps a tax by being a percentage above the correct body weight? A tax on dangerous activity such as skydiving, mountain climbing or motorcycling?
        Maybe all sport activities should be taxed according to their injury percentages/correlation?

        For that matter, there really should be a tax on having children instead of a child tax break!

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TrailerTrash,
          I tend to agree with Lou concerning how to manage drugs.

          Whilst they are “illegal” then some in our society are willing to risk all to profit.

          If the government is controlling the drugs, then you will reduce organised crime. Look at the resources wasted combating organised crime.

          Also, you will have standards apply to the drugs and not some backyard operator manufacturing deadly batches of poison.

          It will save money on the health system, welfare system, police and judicial system, etc.

          It would be a win, win for society as a whole.

          How much crime is there so people can buy a hit?

          But, drugs are a multi billion dollar industry, so of course you have billionaires in control. The punk on the street isn’t the problem. It’s how we manage drugs is the problem and creating a problem larger than it has to be.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            But this is about building up a no win for manufacturers. There is no way anything can be tested for highest levels of testing.
            They created a test as a minimum and the manufacturers worked to meet it.
            What BC was getting to, I think, was the penalty for your doing so IF it caused you to get on the tit of public care.
            Nobody seems to suffer responsibility for any of their decisions.
            Not the Wall Street fools that caused the crash.
            Not the parents of kids killing or building bombs in their garages (remember Columbine anybody?).

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TrailerTrash,
            I agree about the big end of town seemingly untouchable.

            I suppose you mainly here of the small time druggo and not the billionaire kingpins getting caught.

            It’s all about whose pocket you are into.

            This VW incident highlights this. For such an event as VW has been involved in, with as many people in the know, you would of thought VW would of been caught years ago.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @TrailerTrash – People forget that we are never truly “free” to do what ever the hell we want. Myopia is an affliction common amount people who think that. Somewhere somehow someone has to pay the price for someone else’s choices especially if they have a higher risk of harm.

          My whole point wasn’t really about high risk behavior in general but a reply to Duaney’s comment about tobacco. Ban it or make it illegal and see what happens.

          You are correct that it is tough to decide where it begins and where it ends. The other issue is who is to judge? Some stuff is pretty obvious i.e. smoking other stuff not so much.

          I used to be involved in motocross racing. Our insurance costs were high and we did our best to mitigate risk. I even used to “borrow” a paramedic unit and convince a few buddies to come and provide their services along with mine.

          It must of been the mention of tax.

          If you don’t like that word then how about the term “supplemental insurance”????

          That is really all that I think should be in place.

          If one has to spend a million dollars treating that throat cancer due to smoking then why shouldn’t those wanting to do that be aware of it and cover that cost up front? Same as those who want to sail around the world. Why not have that cost covered up front with insurance if you get your sorry azz lost?

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            BC…

            I thin we are in agreement on a lot of this.
            And I do like the supplemental idea.
            However, the real issues are still WHO is in charge of deciding what is an OK, societal freedom and who is not.
            There will always be a sort of sacred position of the do-gooders in power at the moment.
            From the banning of alcohol and the resulting growth of the black market and syndicate to today’s making of marijuana legal, it all boils down to the chic social movement now on the move.
            I for one get angry when I hear about a rescuer killed or hurt and public expenses wasted while trying to save some idiot caught in a thrill situation never to be tried in the first place. But this thrill is accepted as a person’s honorable quest for outer limits of man.
            And I feel this way about any person’s desire to smoke or drink scotch…

            There might be laws that fine people for these risks that cost the public, but like many crimes today they simply get ignored and brushed aside. They get silently dropped over time.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Duaney,
      Next you will state lets stick emission equipment up a cow’s ass to reduce the greenhouse gasses it emits!

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      In the 1960s nearly 50% of US adults smoked cigarettes. Today that is down to about 20%. Government action has a lot to do with that reduction.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Tobacco is regulated by the FDA.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        The FDA regulates bottled water, but the EPA regulates tap water.

        I wouldn’t put it past a govt agency to find a way to regulate something that another agency already regulates.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do believe the regulators are chasing VW because they purposely created a work around regarding the testing.

    I also believe this has highlighted more questions.

    1. Testing methods. Testing is just sampling.

    2. A reassessment of the limits and standards in place.

    3. GDI engines and the pollutants they produces are overlooked. GDI engines as I’ve mentioned on average are emitting 10-1 000 times the particulates of a diesel engine.

    Any engine that burns a fossil fuel will emit some form of toxic waste. Animals do, we fart and emit methane, which is a pollutant. I’m not saying lets all pollute, but to be realistic about pollution.

    I also belive emission levels should be based purely on the volume of fuel burnt. Then use a fuel tax to regulate usage. It would be so much simpler.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      The high pm output from GDI is only temporary. Euro 6 sets limits on PM from gasoline engines. Upcoming EPA tier 3 also address PM limits for gasoline engines as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Onus,
        I think I read 2018 is the year for particulates on gasoline engines. I have read the cost of a GPF will be around S100.00. But I have also read that a DPF and DEF system on diesels was supposed to cost the manufacturers less than $500.00.

        EuroVI will also more or less align with US EPA emission standards as well.

        It will be interesting to see the differences in testing methods between the US and Eurozone.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          “EuroVI will also more or less align with US EPA emission standards as well.”

          No quite. Euro6 is still way behind on NOx, which is part of the problem.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I’m starting to think that we should buy a new vehicle while non-turbo, conventionally fuel injected gasoline powered engines are still available. It seems that much of the newest technology under hood is designed to look good in testing but not perform as expected in the real world. I’m also very concerned about what the long term durability is going to be for these new small displacement, turbocharged, direct injected engines. Many have already experienced significant problems with intake valve carbon/sludge build up.

    • 0 avatar
      EAF

      My turbocharged 4cyl is approaching 218k miles, original engine & turbo, it is a POS 1995 Mitsubishi.

      When none-car-people ask me what their next purchase should be, I analyze what their needs are, then I apply the logic you outlined.

      -Avoid AWD/4WD unless it is absolutely necessary
      -Most cannot drive a manual, avoid DCTs & CVTs
      -Avoid direct injection
      -For most, an N/A 4cyl serves its purpose, avoid FI, V6, V8
      -Avoid chain driven OHC valvetrains, IMO they are more maintenance prone vs belts
      -Avoid all VAG products

      What options are they left with? Lol…

  • avatar
    thornmark

    I wonder how Honda did, I had read that their system did not need urea injection, it created its own ammonia:

    from CAR mag24 December 2014 –

    “Put simply, the 1.6 i-DTEC is one of the best real world engines out there, laying down 118bhp and 221lb ft of torque and delivering its power throughout the range. Yes, it’s most comfortable at motorway cruising speeds, but it’s no wheezing asthmatic at start-up either – and with a C02 figure of 94g/km its road tax-free as well. Curves, coolness and frugality? You’ve got everything now.”

    & Top Gear:

    “Honda has worked hard on the fuel efficiency of the current Civic, particularly in ultra-sophisticated 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel guise. It emits as little as 94g/km and can average 78.5mpg. Given how punchy it is, this is seriously impressive (and even the sharp, ‘quasi-Type R’ Sport comes in at under 100g/km). Naturally, reliability is not in question and better interior quality means this refreshed one feels like it’ll last forever, too. A simpler trim line means it’s easier to pick one, although we’d like more engine choice…”

    I do note that the US has been promised the Earthdreams diesel for years now. Either it’s too expensive absent the Euro tax pref for diesel or the targets too hard to meet reliably here.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The ICCT has been complaining about European testing procedures for ages. It would seem that most of you hadn’t heard about it until the VW story broke, but its gripes about overly optimistic CO2 (fuel economy) and pollution emissions are nothing new.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Most of them hadn’t heard and still don’t care. They’re happy to label this as clickbait and continuing saying “but VW was different!” despite the fact that VW’s diesels aren’t an outlier in NOx emissions compared to these other diesels. Clearly they are cheating as well if they’re producing similar NOx or more in real world driving while also passing the emission tests.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Well, VW is different. It used software to violate US law. There is no evidence that anyone else has done that.

        The flaws of European testing procedures are a separate matter. Gaming a test is not the same thing as violating US law by cheating on US tests. Gaming is legal; cheating is not.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Several people have expressed surprise and even outrage that automobile manufacturers are building cars just clean enough to meet government standards. Those standards do not require adherence to emission limits under all conditions. They merely require that cars do so under a well defined test protocol. Years ago, Carroll Shelby told us that emissions skyrocket if you operate outside the test protocol.

    Emission controls are expensive to engineer and produce. They also sap performance. A manufacturer that goes beyond governmental requirements puts itself at a disadvantage with respect to its competitors. Its products will cost more and/or perform less well. Then, its customers will switch to offerings from less idealistic manufacturers.

    The onus is on government to set realistic standards and to ensure that test protocols correspond to real world operation. I doubt that manufacturers deliberately disable emission controls when their products operate outside the test protocol. But neither do they make any extra effort to limit emissions outside it. VW is an exception in that their diesels fail to meet standards when operated according to the test protocol on the road. They used a software trick to hide their noncompliance.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Anyone else here as crazy about gnocchi as I am? Especially spinach gnocchi?

    Well, I mean… we’ve got to do *something* to shift topics here, no?

  • avatar

    It’s not really a “sniffer”, it’s a UV/IR spectrometer.

    California is using the tech so they probably have data that can be mined to see if diesels are putting out more emissions than in their EPA testing.

    http://www.smogtips.com/remote_sensing.cfm

  • avatar
    turboencabulator

    Realistically, how repeatable are emissions test results? I’m not talking about the real world here. The question is. in the current EPA/Euro certifications, how repeatable the emissions test results are? How far fuel quality affects the results? What sort of variance are we seeing?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      turboencabulator,
      When I used to supervise a jet engine test cell years ago we used to even measure the specific gravity of the fuel and it’s quality prior to our engine runs.

      We never measured emissions, as it would of been a bit of joke on a jet engine. We used to measure thrust, and the times for transitions, different stable rpms, etc. We needed to assess if all that biases and is scheduled during the engines operation performed within limits.

      It is a lengthy process, I would imagine to assess emissions would also be as intensive and lengthy. In other words expensive. Just the varying types of vehicles and configurations would make testing quite expensive.

      No two engines are ever the same.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s an easy to read and understand presentation from Delphi. It covers diagnostics, actual limits for each variable that is measured, ie, 92 Octane +- 0.5, etc.

    It does concentrate on the EU, USA and Japan, but it also does include other significant nations and not so significant.

    http://delphi.com/docs/default-source/catalogs/delphi-worldwide-emissions-standards-pc-ldv-15-16.pdf?sfvrsn=2

    Hmmm…..it seems some US States have lax emission regulations than the EU.

    Here’s the cut and paste and link.

    “• Emissions. U.S. and EU emissions regulations are administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Commission (EC), respectively. While U.S. and EC rules address a similar range of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and non-methane organic oxides, allowable emissions levels in the EU are different from those in the United States—and they are stricter in more than a dozen U.S. states than in the other states. The United States and the EU have similar “type approval” systems for
    new engine models.

    The link;

    https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=751039

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Big Al,

      “it seems some US States have lax emission regulations than the EU”

      You should re-read what you quoted.

      “they are stricter in more than a dozen U.S. states than in the other states”

      As most of us know, that’s California and the states that use California’s standards.
      Nowhere does it say that the states that use EPA standards are more “lax than the EU.” If you look into it (surprise me!), you will see that the base EPA standards are stricter in almost every way than Euro 6 standards, and some US states are even stricter than that.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    A “researcher and lecturer” “tested” 300 cars using a “roadside sniffer” and wrote a report. That’s all I need to know.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      You realize this is one report out of several that all show the same thing, right? This guy isn’t alone on an island.

      Some other sources:
      http://www.theicct.org/sites/default/files/publications/ICCT_NOx-control-tech_revised%2009152015.pdf
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/14/nine-out-of-10-new-diesel-cars-in-breach-of-eu-pollution-rules-report-finds
      http://jalopnik.com/watchdog-group-says-other-car-companies-are-cheating-on-1732615322

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    It’s satisfyingly ironic that the catalyst for destroying small passenger diesels in the First World should be us verdammte Amis who barely buy the damn things anyway.

    It’s one of our last chances to be smug, hectoring scolds and I’m immensely enjoying it.

  • avatar
    Richarbl

    lol Has no one noticed this story was lifted from The Dailyfail. I would be more comfortable quoting from the The Onion

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Most manufacturers build cars that pass the emissions testing protocols that various governmental agencies demand be passed in order to be allowed to sell vehicles.

    The car companies cannot be blamed for “building to the test” any more than teachers can be blamed for “teaching to the test” in areas that emphasize standardized testing.

    VW, however, blatantly and knowingly cheated, which is a LOT different.

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