Aussie auto association puts manufacturer claims under the microscope
The Australian Automobile Association is putting the top-selling vehicles in Australian to the emissions tests by performing independent real-world on-road vehicle testing.
The peak industry body will spend $500,000 testing vehicle emission claims in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel scandal, putting roughly 30 vehicles out on the road to debunk manufacturer laboratory bench-testing figures. Similar independent testing is also taking place in Europe.
Melbourne-based engineering consultancy ABMARC is tasked with comparing the top-selling vehicle test results with in-house manufacturer claims using Australia’s only portable emission testing device meeting US EPA and European Commission compliance standards.
AAA boss Michael Bradley said the testing regime will bring light to the shady issue of consumer rights and environmental impacts.
“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.
Bradley said the decision has been made due to the lack of action taken by the Turnbull government or others prior to ensure stringent emissions regulations in Australia.
“It’s fallen to AAA to do this on behalf of the Australian motorists because the Australian government does no testing to ensure car manufacturers comply with the emissions regulations of the Australian Design Rules,” Mr Bradley said. “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 that 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 demanded further the Australian Government emissions testing of new vehicles, saying Australian consumers are being mislead.
“Australians deserve to know the vehicles they drive have been independently tested in real driving conditions on Australian roads,” Mr Bradley continued. “The AAA has led the way in running the pilot but we now look to the Australian Government to step up to protect Australian consumers and the environment.”
The emission pilot testing of the first 10 cars is expected at the end of August. Test results for these vehicles will be available later in the year and AAA expressly intends to test a sample of affected Volkswagen Group diesel AE189 engined vehicles before and after the company’s remedial workshop treatment.