Leading cars emit 50% more CO2 than they claim

A study shows leading car brands such as Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot are pumping out around 50% more CO2 than they claim in official tests.

It comes amid claims the Volkswagen scandal is just “the tip of the iceberg”.

The study, by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E), found that new EU cars, including the Mercedes A, C and E class, BMW 5 series and Peugeot 308, used around 50% more fuel than manufacturers claimed, directly impacting CO2 emissions. T&E said the gap between official lab results and real-world performance found in many models has grown so wide it cannot be explained through known factors, including test manipulations.

Leading cars emit 50% more CO2 than they claim

While it stressed this did not constitute proof of ‘defeat devices’ being used to fiddle fuel economy tests, similar to that used by Volkswagen, the group said EU governments must extend probes, to include petrol cars.

Meanwhile, a criminal prosecution has been opened in Germany against former Volkswagen chief executive Martin Winterkorn, who resigned last week over the diesel emissions scandal. The investigation will focus on alleged fraud and identifying who was responsible.

A number of criminal complaints have been made, including one from Volkswagen itself, that does not name any suspects.

Volkswagen’s upmarket brand Audi has confirmed 2.1m of its vehicles are among those with the software used to con US testers. The devices were built into 1.6 and 2-litre turbo diesel models, including the A3.

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