Car companies are all facing increased scrutiny following Volkswagen’s admission that it programmed Euro 5 diesel-engined cars to alter the running of their engines to conceal particulate emissions.
The United States government has launched an investigation into the Volkswagen allegations, and several governments across the world as well as the European Union have announced wider investigations into emissions testing and fuel consumption.
Daimler, Mazda and BMW have all put out statements in the last week distancing themselves from the Volkswagen allegations and trying to correct any rumours that they too have been involved in trying to affect the outcome of government emissions tests.
BMW was put under the spotlight after German publication Auto Bild published an article highlighting apparent discrepancies in fuel consumption between their own testing and the NEDC.
Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment has called the Volkswagen story “just the tip of the iceberg”, but the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has said that there is “no evidence” that this is an industry-wide issue.
The Washington, DC-based Diesel Technology Forum has defended the fuel, with director Steve Hansen urging : “The circumstances involving a single manufacturer do not define an entire technology, or an industry. Vehicle manufacturers and engine makers have invested billions of dollars in research and development to successfully meet the most aggressive emissions standards in the world.
“Nothing has changed the fact that the diesel engine is the most energy-efficient internal combustion engine. It is a proven technology and its unique combination of efficiency, power, reliability, performance, low-emissions and suitability for using renewable fuels ensures a place for diesel technology to help meet the demands of a global economy.”