Latest diesel cars emit low on-road pollutant emissions, contrary to recent misleading claims

Brussels, 6 June 2018 – Contrary to misleading claims in a new report, the latest Euro 6d diesel cars emit low pollutant emissions on the road under the new Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test, which came into application in September 2017.

Under RDE, a car is driven on public roads over a wide range of conditions using portable measuring equipment. RDE complements the lab test, WLTP, to ensure that pollutant emission levels measured during the laboratory test are confirmed on the road.

“The claims from the new ‘TRUE’ study are misleading for consumers,” stated Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). “EU policy makers will be equally disappointed that there is no acknowledgement that the latest Euro 6 diesel cars complying with the new RDE legislation are very clean.”

The claims made in this study are based on ‘remote sensing’ results collected between 2011 and 2017. They therefore do not evaluate the on-road performance of the latest diesel vehicles approved to the Euro 6d standard since September 2017.

Jonnaert: “As all cars tested as part of this ‘TRUE’ initiative were pre-Euro 6d vehicles, the fact that they do not meet emissions requirements that only became mandatory after they were put on the market is not surprising.”

The automobile industry has invested heavily to achieve significant improvements in emissions from RDE-compliant Euro 6 vehicles. Recent studies* have shown that these new diesel cars effectively deliver very low pollutant emissions not only in the laboratory, but also on the road. Indeed, the data from the newest Euro 6d diesel cars tested under the rigorous RDE test paint a very positive picture.

Research by FuelsEurope and the Association for Emissions Control by Catalyst (AECC) also shows that the latest generation of diesel vehicles will continue to play a major role in helping reach future CO2 targets. Likewise, these vehicles will also have a positive impact on improving air quality, along with other local measures, in areas where exceedance of NO2 remains a concern.

Notes for editors

The TRUE study involved the ICCT, FIA Foundation, Global NCAP, Transport & Environment (T&E) and C40 cities.

This study claims to cover 90% of the EU-registered cars by having scanned 4,850 vehicle models. While remote sensing is a promising technology, there still remain many concerns about how and where it can be used to ensure that:

  • the emissions performance of passing cars are correctly assessed in the fraction of time that it takes to make such a scan; and
  • the result for a certain car is attributed correctly to that car within the confines of EU data protection law.

The ranking of vehicles based on several scans of less than one second in duration can only give a snapshot of a car’s emissions performance. In this respect, these results should be considered only in relation to other on-road measurement techniques.

* ADAC, Nur noch geringer Stickoxid-Ausstoß bei neuesten Diesel-Modellen, 23 April 2018,

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group
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  • Ben Kennard, Senior Communications Manager,, +32 485 88 66 44

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
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