All British diesel cars in road checks exceeded laboratory limits for nitrogen oxide emission but only Volkswagen had used so-called “defeat devices” to cheat the tests.
The spot checks involved 37 diesel car models from more than 20 brands including BMW, Ford, VW and General Motors, Reuters reports citing the transport ministry.
Eighteen other older cars were tested against so-called Euro 5 standards for nitrogen oxide emission and 19 newer ones against tougher Euro 6 levels, with all the vehicles recording readings above the legislative limit during on-road tests.
“It can be seen that all of the results are substantially higher than this limit, with the best results being about three times higher, and the worst about 10 times higher,” the ministry said, referring to vehicles tested against Euro 5 standards.
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said carmakers had “not done anything illegal” as they only had to meet laboratory standards at present but that real-world driving emissions tests would be introduced from 2017.
Among the older models, GM’s Vauxhall Insignia hatchback recorded the highest emission result of nearly 1900 mg/km, more than 10 times the laboratory test limit.
The crossover Peugeot 3008 had the highest emissions of the newer cars, almost 14 times the limit.
Britain launched an investigation into emissions after Volkswagen admitted to rigging US diesel emissions tests in September.
A federal judge said on Thursday that Volkswagen and the US Justice Department have reached a deal in principle to address excess diesel emissions in nearly 600,000 polluting vehicles that will include buyback offers and a possible fix.
Britain’s Department for Transport said only VW had been found to be using defeat device software to cheat tests.
“The vehicles tested in the UK program showed no evidence of car manufacturers, apart from VW Group, fitting devices to defeat the approved emissions test program.”
VW had previously said 1.2 million of its cars in Britain had been fitted with defeat devices and aabout 11 million cars worldwide.
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