Car manufacturers already cheating the new WLTP emissions test


Car manufacturers already cheating the new WLTP emissions test

A European Union advocacy group for Transport & Environment and European Commission scientists have uncovered evidence of car manufacturers manipulating the new WLTP emissions test.  


According to documents obtained by the EU, scientist have uncovered evidence of manufacturers manipulating the results of a new test for CO2 emissions.


The new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) is being manipulated in order to inflate the CO2 emissions test results. They are accomplishing this by either declaring higher results than they had registered previously or by reconfiguring the test vehicles to suit their aims.


The previous NEDC testing procedure was seen by European Scientists as notoriously inaccurate and so the necessity to bring in the new WLTP test in order to reach a more accurate estimate of emissions during real-world driving.


The present WLTP figures will be used to calculate the 2025 and 2030 emissions targets for the European auto industry. If at this early stage, automakers can again manipulate the test results, they could get away with setting less ambitious emissions targets in the next decade. According to T&E,


“The Commission documents show that in tests carmakers are switching off the start-stop function. They are also adjusting the gear-shift patterns and using depleted batteries to burn more fuel and emit more CO2. In addition, carmakers are declaring higher values than they actually measure, again inflating the official emission values. The Commission found that: ‘As a result, the targets for 2025 and 2030 would also be weakened due to the inflated 2021 starting point. This would de facto reduce the level of ambition…’”


T&E Executive Director William Todts said:


“After Dieselgate carmakers promised to change and that new tests were the solution,”
“Now it’s clear they’re using these new tests to undermine the already weak CO2 standards. They want to meet these with minimal effort so they can keep selling diesels and delay the shift to electric cars.”

The fact is that higher emissions will result in higher taxes, so the auto manufacturers have an incentive to collude to make sure that no other company obtains a competitive advantage by cheating on the tests.


This is what Mr Todts suspects is going on and the European and US authorities are already investigating carmaker collusion on a wide range of technology. Todts went on to say:


“The only way this trick can work is if all carmakers work together,”
“The Commission must extend the ongoing cartel enquiries to investigate whether there has been collusion here. Just fixing the baseline problem isn’t enough, There needs to be sanctions to end the industry’s endemic cheating and collusion.”