Nissan admits falsifying emissions tests in Japan

In a recent statement, Nissan has confessed that it altered the emission controls of some car models made in Japan.


The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan acknowledged on Monday that it had altered some of the results of the anti-pollution tests on the models of the factories installed in Japan. The measurements of gas emissions and fuel use tests were not carried out according to the "established protocol" and the inspection reports were based on altered values, according to Nissan in a statement, after it was submitted to the Japanese authorities. Despite this, the company claims that most of its vehicles (with the exception of the GT-R, a sports car of the brand) do comply with the data in the catalogues.


These disclosures arise from controls initiated in September 2017, after being asked to do so by the Japanese authorities. Nissan reports that they have detected "misconduct for vehicles produced at their national vehicle production plants and those of their affiliates". The company reports that the fraud was based on the modification, by an undetermined number of employees, of the conditions under which these tests are carried out, in terms of temperature, ambient humidity or the speed at which the vehicles are subjected to, for example. Other times the tests did conform to the guidelines set by the law, but the results were changed directly.


Nissan, said that the number of vehicles affected by these malpractices currently stands at 1171, produced in five different factories from 2013 to a few weeks ago. Illegality affects only cars sold on national territory, not those exported.


Nissan is once again in the spotlight of the emissions scandal. This case is not the same as the one that was uncovered at the German manufacturer Volkswagen - which went so far as to use illegal software to falsify the laboratory controls of thousands of cars. But it does mean a new infringement of the system of checks on cars.



TRUE Initiative reveals diesel cars in EU produced up to 18 times NOx emission limits

Most of the newest diesel cars in European cities and throughout the continent are polluting the streets with nitrogen oxide (NOX) emissions up to 18 times the levels set by Euro vehicle standards, says The Real Urban Emissions (TRUE) Initiative, launching its car ratings scheme and checker on 6th June.

Measurements of the real-world emissions of over 350,000 cars on the roads in Europe, have been used to create an innovative and interactive new database ranking vehicles' NOX emissions.

TRUE has used the International Council on Clean Transportation's (ICCT's) methodology to create a traffic light rating system which ranks cars based on their real-world nitrous oxide (NOx) exhaust emissions. Green is a 'good' rating, yellow is 'moderate' and red means that a vehicle produces more than 180 mg / km of NOx and is 'poor'. Anyone can search for the TRUE rating of a car by make, model, engine displacement, fuel type, and Euro standard.


The results confirmed that real-world NOx emissions are systemically much higher from diesel cars, and this holds true for even the newest (Euro 6) models. All Euro 6 petrol cars, in contrast, received a 'good' or 'moderate' rating. Key findings for Euro 6 vehicles, the newest fleet of European vehicles were:

  •     Four manufacturers had average emissions of more than 12 times above the approval limit.
  •     All Euro 6 diesel models tested exceeded the NOX emissions.
  •     Euro 6 petrol vehicle NOX emissions for even the worst factories were within 1.5 times the type-approval limit.
  •     Even the best Euro 6 diesel groups produced NOX emissions of more than twice the type-approval limit, and the other manufacturer groups were at least four times the type-approval limit.

Euro 5 diesel families performed particularly poorly: All families had NOX emissions at least twice that of the limit, and the worst families had emissions 18 times the limit.



The TRUE rating system uses data collected across Europe in the CONOX project, which was funded by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment. It is the largest collection of data on vehicles emissions in Europe to be brought together so far. The measurements of the 375,000 individual cars from this data set have been used to create the TRUE ranking.


Further data from testing undertaken by TRUE in London and Paris will be added to the rating system in the future.



TRUE is a partnership of the FIA Foundation, the International Council on Clean Transportation, the Global New Car Assessment Programme, Transport and Environment, and C40 Cities, which seeks to bring transparency to the public debate on vehicle emissions and urban air quality.


Sheila Watson, Deputy Director & Director of Environment and Research, FIA Foundation, commented:
“The impact of dirty air on those of us who live in cities is terrible - and all the more so for children who can have their health adversely affected for life because they breathe in excessive vehicle fumes when young. We are delighted to support the TRUE initiative because testing real cars on real roads, tells us what is really going on, and enables better policy and good consumer choices and helps address this awful health hazard.”


"This initial project is an important first step," said Rachel Muncrief, program director for the ICCT, "but remote sensing could take us very much further in terms of our ability to monitor, analyze, and control vehicle pollutant emissions and gain control of Europe's urban air- quality problem."


David Ward, Secretary General, Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) said:
“After the shock of Dieselgate, when we discovered that a major manufacturer had been deliberately cheating emissions standards, it became clear that a transparent system that revealed the real emissions of cars was needed. This sort of transparency through independent testing, has been common in the world of vehicle safety for a while, and now TRUE provides real & reliable information about vehicle emissions as well.”


Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40, said: “The threat of toxic air pollution is something virtually every major city is struggling to address. We know dirty air has a massive impact on people’s health, the economy and our environment. Cities are already taking bold action but need the most reliable data to inform their policies. That’s why C40 is delighted to support the True initiative to identify the real emission levels of cars on our roads and provide a tool for city leaders to use when working out the best ways to clean the air that we all breathe. C40 is committed to helping improve air quality in the world’s greatest cities and benefit the lives of billions of people. The results show some of the newest cars are still polluting our streets at rates higher than set by European regulators, makes it clear that much more work needs to be done.”


Greg Archer, Clean Vehicles Director, Transport & Environment, added: “The TRUE rating exposes the legacy of Dieselgate - tens of millions of dirty diesels that are still on the roads producing the toxic smog we daily breathe. The rating highlights that nitrogen dioxide pollution, even from most new diesels, is well above those of gasoline cars, legal limits and manufacturers’ claims. TRUE identifies the worst performing models and regulators must act to require carmakers to clean these up. TRUE can help to ensure cheats cannot prosper.”

Read some of the coverage of the launch here:


Why the city worsens allergy symptoms

Spring + vegetation, that seems to be the combination most feared by anyone allergic to pollen. The logic leads us to think that the main advice would be to avoide the field at this time, but the numbers say something else:


Residential habitat of allergic patients in Spain
(Source: Allergológica 2015, Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology [SEAIC])


URBAN: 61.5%


RURAL: 19.5%


This data refers to patients treated in the corresponding units, so that the presence or absence of specialists in the environment also influences. Despite this, this trend has not only been maintained for decades in our country, it is also reproduced throughout the world, with the most prevalent allergic diseases in industrialized and developed countries. What is this urban allergy?


To (poor) air quality in cities or industrialized areas.


CO: Monóxido de carbono
Gas altamente tóxico producido en la combustión inadecuada de carbón, leña, gas o gasolina


CO2: Carbon dioxide
It is generated in the combustion of fossil fuels, in the emissions of the exhaust pipes and in the heating.


SO2:  Sulfur dioxide
Related to fossil fuels and most power plants.


NO2: Nitrogen dioxide
Related to vehicles, especially those of diesel engine, and with electric generation facilities or gas stoves.


COV: Volatile organic compounds
Related to paints and varnishes, with the wood, cosmetic or pharmaceutical industry.


O3: Tropospheric ozone
Ozone of low atmosphere, becomes a pollutant by the reaction between sunlight and gases from cars or factories.

To these gases another element is added: the particles in suspension. The combination forms the so-called toxic cloud or smog (from the English smoke + fog), a type of environmental pollution.
Traffic is responsible for 50-70% of this type of pollution in large cities


Discounts until the end of the year in cars thanks to the new WLTP emission homologation system

  • The new protocol is much more extensive and complex.
  • VW and Porsche intend to eliminate the offer of some models and self-register them.
  • Until the beginning of 2019the values of  the NEDC will be maintained.
  • Years of change is automobile regulations.

Starting September 1st all new vehicles that are put on sale in Spain, must comply with the WLTP emissions homologation cycle, which replaces the prevailing NEDC snce the 1980´s, this is far from reality and it was the dieselgates final touch.


But the new protocol is not only more accurate but it will also be much more complex and extensive. Standard approval of the particular car with and engine will no longer be valid. you will have to measure consuption and emissions as your equipment changes, for ex., larger wheels or an electric sunroof that makes you heavier.


this means having to perform thousands of tests imposible to assume by the centers that carry them out. So although the matter was known for more than a year, it is assumed that ther will be a huge bottleneck. In fact there is talk of a brand that could be seen with about 30,000 cars blocked.


Because the law is clear. the vehicle that is not approved in n Sep 1st accorfin to the WLTP cycle can not be marketed as new in the EU,  and although it will be allowed to be exemt  a volume equivalent to 10% of what each brand sells, that margin is very low fot hose who enrroll tens of thousands.


To solve the imborgolio, several options appear: eliminate certain models from the offer, as anounced by VW and/or Porsche; Simplify the ranges and group the ioptional packages;    elevate the promotions and go crazy  to self register the cars from know to August 31st to give them a way out of the  second hand market.


Remote Sensing Data

Determination of real-world emissions from passenger vehicles using remote sensing data

Remote sensing of emissions has a number of important characteristics that make it particularly useful for real-world emissions surveillance. This paper builds upon the CONOX remote sensing data collection and analyses already conducted for various individual remote sensing campaigns in France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom between 2011 and 2017. This paper also introduces new methodology to improve the analysis of remote sensing information:

  • This study documents a new method for translating fuel-specific emissions rates, or emissions in grams per kilogram of fuel burned, into distance-specific emissions rates, or emissions in grams per kilometer. This allows direct comparison of remote sensing measurements across vehicles with different fuel consumption. It also enables comparison of findings with emissions standards, chassis dynamometer testing, and portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS) testing.
  • This study introduces a “vehicle family” definition and analyzes average remote sensing measurements by vehicle family. This method increases fleetwide coverage by grouping similar vehicles while continuing to separate vehicles by factors that can have a significant impact on emissions.

Analyses of remote sensing data support previous findings about the high real-world NOX emissions of diesel vehicles, with almost no reduction in NOX from Euro 2 to Euro 5. This suggests that deterioration of emissions control systems over time may not be a significant factor for diesels and that improper real-world emissions calibrations are the primary problem.

By manufacturer group, Euro 6 petrol vehicle NOX emissions for even the worst manufacturers were within 1.5 times the type-approval limit. For diesel vehicles, even the best manufacturer group had Euro 6 NOX emissions of more than twice the type-approval limit, and all other manufacturer groups were at least four times the type-approval limit. Four manufacturer groups had average emissions of more than 12 times the type-approval limit.

Almost no Euro 3 through Euro 6 diesel vehicle family had average remote sensing measurements below their respective type-approval standards. Euro 5 diesel families performed particularly poorly: All families had NOX emissions at least twice that of the limit, and the worst families had emissions 18 times the limit. Despite an average vehicle age of 16.4 years at the time of the remote sensing measurements, Euro 2 vehicles actually performed better, with 25% of the families still emitting less NOX than the Euro 2 limit.

Even though diesel NOX limits were more than three times higher than petrol NOX limits for Euro 3 through Euro 5, petrol vehicles performed much better, as 23% of Euro 3 petrol vehicle families had average emissions below their respective standard, ranging up to 63% for Euro 6 petrol vehicle families.

- International Council on Clean Transportation

Published: 2018.06.05
By Yoann Bernard, Uwe Tietge, John German, Rachel Muncrief

A spy for traffic pollution

Madrid launches a pioneering European program for measuring the emissions of the vehicles in real time.


An infrared, a mirror and a camera, all connected to a computer where data is dumped in real time. It is very simple and easy to install it is also undetectable by the vehicle or in traffic, this machine allows us to measure the polluting gases emitted by the vehicle that passes through the road or highway where this is installed, with no possible tricks or manipulations of the switchboard to pass by. The ideal spy to a really know how contaminated a city is and what part of its car park is the main culprit.


Madrid is the city that launched this European project called Life Gystra, an optical remote sensing system that allows us “to determine the average concentrations of different pollutant gases and particles produced by each vehicle in normal driving”. Its goal is to develop a new sustainable mobility policy based on empirical information on emissions from road traffic. The General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), the Center for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research (Ciemat) and Opus RSE (the concessionaire of this technology in Europe and Cartif) participate in it.


The use of this tool is much more common in the US and was responsible for uncovering the dieselgate. Through its use, the University of Denver was able to raise the alarm, due to differences in the pollution data that Volkswagen diesel vehicles reported in the laboratory and in real driving. Such was the discrepancy (and the impossibility of explaining it) that the automobile ended up confessing that it installed a software that manipulated the NOx emissions of its diesel engines when it detected that they were on the test bench to achieve homologations in the US.


"The Volkswagen case uncovered a situation of generalized discrepancy in the measurements and put the focus on the truly important: what the vehicles emit in real traffic," said Manuel Pujadas, head of the Pollutant Emissions Unit in Ciemat, the Gas pollutants in vehicles and environmental policies: the potential of remote sensing, organized in the representation of the European Commission in Madrid in which this system was presented. In this line, the European Union has approved a new measurement system, called WLTP, which aims to further adapt the data collected from polluting emissions to those produced in real traffic.

Easy Installation

The device is installed in just 30 minutes on any road, urban or interurban. When the vehicle passes by the infrared, the system measures CO, CO2, hydrocarbons, NOx and particles, as well as speed data. In addition, a camera takes a photo of the license plate to be able to introduce antiquity, engine type and other details in the sample. Scans up to 1,000 vehicles per hour, of any kind, be it passenger cars, SUVs, vans, trucks or buses.


This pioneering program gas a budget of 1.5 million euros, of which  60% comes from European funds and will be in operation  during the nect 2 years in the capital. "It is the longest program in use, that has ever been in Europe", explains Javier Buhigas, head of Head of Consulting at OPUS RSE. "There will be 2 scanning points that will be instaled on a rotating basis, on all types of roads and scanning all types of vehicles, to make this sampling" he says. "The system allows realizing a realistic map of how this really impacts on pollution". he explains.


"This way, administrations have reliable data to design measures that really attack those responsible for pollution" he says. The director points  out that "the inhabitants of cities where traffic restriction measures have been approved to fight against high pollution live in a situation of great uncertainty, they do not know what is going to happen, what new rules they will find tomorrow about their vehicles". For this reason, Buhigas advocates having the close collaboration of the city Council and the Community of Madrid in this project. "The real data will allow us to generate policies that do not discriminate or are based on random measures. The can be more fair and appropriate to reality" he explains.


A radar that measures the quality of the air

A company in Madrid called OPUS RSE is going to start the project and they have shown us how it works. The device makes the measurement of each vehicle that passes by, then they analyze all the gases the vehicle exhausts. This shows all the pollution each car emits.


All information will be directed to Town Halls and the DGT to let them know all the information about each vehicle, even if the vehicle has been manipulated.


Madrid, test field for a new «super-radar»

A Spanish company tests w pieces of equipment capable of measuring the particles, the nitrogen and the CO2 of each vehicle, in addition to its speed. It will allow us to detect irregular practices from the owners, such ad disassembly of catalyst and generalized frauds, such as the Dieselgate.


Road traffic accounts for up to 70% of emissions in urban areas, a problem that the different qadministrations have approached in a very different way, restricting, for exampe, the access of vehicles to the central areas of town according to whether their license plate are even or odd.


The inefficient measurem which does not allow to discriminate the vehices that pollute the most, could have its days counted, not only by the new enviromental lables of the DGT (Department of General Traffic), which classify the park according to its pollution potential, but also thanks to new radars capable of accurately measure the emissions produces during normal circulation of the vehicle. These new machines which will be tesgted for two years in Madrid, detected more than  serial modifications made to vehicles by the owners.




 "The gol is to avoid unfair policies and give the driver the assurance that his vehicle will not be limited according to his license plate or fuel",  explains Javier Buhigas, Head of Consulting at OPS RSE. The Spanish company is one of the five factors involved in the project in which the Cartif Technological center, the DGT and the Ciemat also collaborate. In addition, it is covered by the European Union under the Gystra umberella, which seeks sustainable management of emissions.




 "It not only measures the pollutants like CO2 emitted by gasoline cars, nitrogen emitted by diesel cars and other particles-, but also allows us to quantify the savings and effectiveness of each traffic conrol measure" says Buhigas.


This system would also allow us to locate efectively the most polluting cars, to repair them or remove them from the roads. According to Ciemat data, 5% of the most polluting vehicles acount for 30% of emissions, of that  5%, one third have less than 5 years.


EU Agreement to tighten rules for safer and cleaner cars

Last December 7th, the European Commission decided to include Remote Sensing into the new Type Approval framework legislation. The EU co-legislators have reached an agreement on the Commission proposal from January 2016 to fully overhaul the EU 'type-approval' framework. You can find the European Commission’s Press Release in the following link.


The RSD technology shall be used by the Member States in two specific applications:


  1. Detection of defeat devices (mainly in heavy duty trucks), which national authorities have a standing obligation to police and enforce.
  2. Massive monitoring of the real-driving emissions of on-road traffic, to detect non-compliant vehicles on EU roads.



Remote Sensing is identified by the Commission as a tool for screening the environmental performance of in-service fleet.


Car Exhaust: The Potential of Remote Sensing

Last 28th of September 2017, an event was held in the European Parliament to address how the Remote Sensing technology can prevent a future ‘Dieselgate’ in Europe. The event was hosted by the chair of the former inquiry committee into automotive emissions, Kathleen Van Brempt, who encouraged all countries into the use of Remote Sensing.

Validated, certified and reliable technology

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) presented their independent analysis of Opus RSE’s RSD technology. Dr. Pierre Bonnel, Director of Sustainable Transport Unit in the Joint Research Centre (JRC), showed that the technology correlates almost 1:1 with PEMs:

“RSD Instrumentation measurement performance was verified under real-world conditions. It exhibited excellent correlation with the references for CO and NO, within wide ranges”.

Other scientific groups also praised the remote sensing technology, showing its reliability and its potential for in-service vehicle emissions screening. Every message was in favor of this technology and there was a total consensus of its immediate use.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the University of York and others, presented results of RSD measurements that clearly show how real-driving emissions are highly above the European limits.

On-road inspections and fair policies

The European Commission remarked that on-road emissions inspections must be done by every EU country. Periodic Technical Inspections has proven to be insufficient to detect vehicles with bioth tampering and defeat devices. Opus RSE’s technology is small, portable and is deployed in minutes. It is perfect for on-road inspections as the authorities can detect high emitting vehicles changing the measuring locations frequently, without being discovered by the drivers.

Greg Archer, Director of Clean Vehicles team in Transport & Environment (T&E), declared in Brussels that fining vehicles depending on the vehicle’s age or vehicle’s Euro Standard is not a fair, neither correct, air quality policy. Local authorities must measure empirically the real-driving emissions in their cities and act on proven high-emitters.

The Type Approval regulation P8_TA[2017]0097 already defines “specific obligations for national authorities to include […] results of remote sensing testing”. Panagiota Dilara, Policy Officer for Motor Vehicle Emissions at the commission's industry directorate, emphasized on the role of remote sensing for in-service conformity testing and defeat device detection: "Remote Sensing is a powerful tool", said Dilara.


After the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, the EU parliament called on member states to "establish remote fleet monitoring schemes" by using roadside remote sensing equipment. The health of millions of people is at stake.