In order to cut emissions from diesel cars, Volkswagen have recently issued a recall across Australia. However, although the move was designed to bring down the levels of harmful emissions and nitrogen oxide, it seems to have had the opposite effect. Research carried out by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has found that the cars are now using up to 14% more diesel, resulting in calls for changes to the testing process across the country.
The research found that cars were, on average, producing 7% more emission after the recall. There was a 2% increase in urban areas, but on highways it was up to 14% more. The AAA have now urged for real world testing rather than lab based testing going forward in order to obtain accurate results. The news follows recent scandals involving Volkswagen, including a recent case in the US where executives were cheating emissions tests on new vehicles.
Consumer group “Choice” agreed that this highlights the need for processing for testing cars to be updated. Katinka Day, head of campaigns and policy at Choice said: “Calculating fuel use in a lab does little to help consumers understand the running and environmental costs of the cars they’re buying. Lab tests have also produced inconsistent results, which make realistic comparisons nearly impossible.”
“It’s time Australia follows the lead of other jurisdictions, such as the EU, and adopt real-world driving tests for emissions.” The group are now acting on behalf of VW car owners in a court case against the company. The AAA added that while changes to regulations are needed, they’re pointless “unless information on real-world performance is in the hands of consumers”.
Volkswagen responded to the claims in a statement, saying that “The German government approved Volkswagen’s software update on the basis that it did not adversely affect the emissions or fuel economy of vehicles in test conditions. The leading motorists’ organisations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland have tested vehicles and concluded that vehicles continue to perform as expected after the software update.”