Vehicle emissions AAA puts top sellers to real-world tests

5 August 2016

Australia’s peak motoring body is putting top selling vehicles to real world, on-road emissions tests in the wake of a spate of allegations that Volkswagen Group and other vehicle manufacturers have cheated on testing or otherwise misreported the performance of their vehicles. 

Amid growing concerns regarding the accuracy and usefulness of laboratory emissions testing, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) is investing $500,000 to conduct an on-road emissions testing pilot of around 30 vehicles on the Australian market.  

The AAA has contracted Melbourne-based engineering consultancy ABMARC to compare the on-road test results of top-selling models with the results obtained from previous laboratory tests, using Australia's only portable emissions measurement system compliant with US EPA and European Commission standards. 

AAA Chief Executive Michael Bradley said the testing is being done on behalf of all Australians who care about consumer rights and the environment. 

“In the wake of the Volkswagen scandal and subsequent concerns raised about other vehicle makers and lab-based emissions testing, the AAA has decided to test the on-road emissions of a number of Australia’s top selling vehicles,” Mr Bradley said. 

“It’s fallen to the AAA to do this on behalf of Australian motorists because the Australian Government does no testing to ensure car manufacturers comply with emissions regulations of the Australian Design Rules. And because our government relies on lab testing done internationally, we do not know the real-world level of emissions produced by most models sold in Australia. 

“It’s very important vehicles deliver the fuel economy, environmental and performance outcomes promised. Where this hasn’t occurred we’ve seen Australians dealing with uncertainty, inconvenience, potential loss of vehicle values and cars which may cost more to run.” 

The AAA has renewed its call for Australian Government emissions testing of new vehicles. 

“Australians deserve to know the vehicles they drive have been independently tested in real driving conditions on Australian roads. The AAA has led the way in running this pilot but we now look to the Australian Government to step up to protect Australian consumers and the environment,” Mr Bradley said. 

The AAA emissions testing pilot of the first 10 vehicles is due to conclude by the end of August. Test results for these vehicles will be available later in 2016. The AAA also plans to test a sample of affected Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles before and after remediation by the company.  

Written by RACV
August 05, 2016