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Which? study reveals how some models emit up to 15 times the safe amountBack

Which

• Many popular petrol cars also put out high levels of toxic carbon monoxide
• Offending manufacturers include Nissan, BMW, Range Rover and Peugeot
• Renault confirmed it is recalling 15,000 new diesel cars due to emissions
• Which? said the tests are so seriously flawed the results are meaningless

Cars produced by manufacturers including Nissan, Jeep and Volvo put out higher levels of toxic carbon monoxide than is permitted by EU and British law

Nine out of ten diesel cars on Britain’s roads are pumping out higher levels of potentially lethal pollutants than permitted by official limits, research reveals today. In one case, the exhaust from an expensive 4×4 contains 15 times the level of killer nitrogen oxides allowed.

At the same time, many popular petrol cars put out higher levels of toxic carbon monoxide than is permitted by EU and British law.

Leading manufacturers including Nissan, BMW, Range Rover, Volvo, Peugeot, Jeep and Subaru are among the offenders. And yesterday the French car maker Renault confirmed it is recalling 15,000 new diesel cars – 260 in the UK – because their emission levels are too high.

Details of the scandal were revealed by consumer group Which? after a reassessment of its tests on 300 new cars dating back to 2012. It found that 95 per cent of diesels and 10 per cent of petrol cars emitted more nitrogen oxide (NOx) than the official limits put in place in 2011. Two thirds of petrol cars emitted more carbon monoxide (CO) than permitted.

The findings suggest the scandal which surrounded the German motor giant VW after it admitted fiddling vehicle tests to minimise NOx levels is an industry wide issue.

NOx reacts with other chemicals to form small particles that penetrate deep into the lungs and can cause or worsen respiratory diseases such as emphysema and bronchitis. The particles can aggravate heart disease, increasing hospital admissions and deaths. Around 30,000 people die each year in the UK because of pollution – usually of heart attacks, strokes or asthma – and around 23,500 of these are directly attributable to diesel cars.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 22/01/2016