In the wake of the VW emissions scandal and as part of our new campaign Come Clean On Fuel Claims, Which? has been piling pressure on the car industry.
We gave car manufacturers seven days to tell us whether their vehicle testing methods were misleading consumers. That deadline has now passed and of the 16 who responded, all have so far stated that they don’t manipulate emissions and fuel economy tests. Some car makers still haven’t confirmed either way.
The European Commission is planning to implement the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) procedure, which in practice means that new cars will have to be tested not only in the laboratory but also on the road. Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) will also bring a number of much-needed improvements, with the expectation that CO2 and fuel consumption figures will be more realistic than is currently the case.
In their responses, several manufactures have also stated their support for the introduction of new tests that reflect real life conditions:
- PSA Peugeot Citroen said it supports introducing the new procedure Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure plus Real Driving Emissions from September 2017 in its most demanding version, to replace the current European approval procedure, which is not representative of real customer use.
- Renault Group told us it supports the implementation of European homologation tests representative of real conditions (RDE); and
- Daimler also said it emphatically supports the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure.
While Which? has revealed that most of the biggest names in the industry have now explicitly denied manipulating the results of the test, there remain issues around the effectiveness of testing, both on emissions and on fuel efficiency. It is therefore important for the Government to immediately publish a timetable for a genuinely independent investigation and ensure any consumers found to be affected can get easy access to redress.
Volkswagen is the only manufacturer that has admitted fitting devices to their cars to conceal their environmental impact in emissions testing. Volkswagen was given a deadline of Wednesday 7th October to submit a plan to the German government explaining how it will ensure the 11 million vehicles affected worldwide, including 1.2 million in the UK, are compliant with the law.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“It’s reassuring that the majority of car manufacturers have explicitly denied rigging emissions and fuel economy tests. However people will rightly be suspicious of these tests until an independent investigation has been carried out. The Government must now be clear with consumers about the action it is taking, including real life testing and redress for people who have been misled.”
We launched the Come Clean On Fuel Claims, campaign just over a week ago and over 55,000 consumers have already backed the campaign
- All car manufacturers to announce whether their emissions and fuel economy tests have been manipulated;
- The Government to immediately publish a timetable for a genuinely independent investigation and ensure any consumers found to be affected can get easy access to redress; and
- The European Commission must announce how they will bring forward new tests with full and proper independent oversight by the end of the year.
Notes to editors
- Our latest research on fuel efficiency tests can be found here.
- Manufacturers who have responded: Renault, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Nissan, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mazda, Volvo, Vauxhall, Honda, BMW, Ford, Toyota, Suzuki, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi.
- Manufacturers who haven’t responded: Subaru.