German environmental body claims Zafira diesel emitted 17 times more NOx in lab tests when all four wheels were moving
23 October 2015

Opel has branded allegations aired by a German environmental organisation that the Zafira 1.6 CDTi emits levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) up to 17 times higher than that prescribed under EU6 emission laws during rolling road testing as “false and unfounded”.

The allegations, made public in a press release issued on Friday morning, are based on a series tests carried out by the Bern Technical College in Switzerland under commission from the German Environmental Aid Association.

In its findings, the German Environmental Aid Association claims to have identified significant discrepancies in the emissions of the 118bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel-powered Zafira 1.6 CDTi (badged Zafira Tourer as a Vauxhall in the UK) during rolling road tests in which only the front wheels are turning and those in which all four wheels are turning.

Quoting results gathered by the Bern Technical College, the German Environment Aid Association said: “The measurements show that the vehicle behaves differently when the dynamometer is operated in four or two-wheel mode."

Furthermore, the German Environmental Aid Association says the amount of NOx generated by the front-wheel-drive Zafira 1.6 CDTi increases rapidly when accelerated to 150km/h (93mph) on the dynamometer in two-wheel mode.

The allegations aired by the German Environmental Aid Association has led to insinuations that Opel may have equipped certain models with emission manipulation software similar to that used by Volkswagen, or employed a defeat device that shuts off the injection of urea into the exhaust system at higher speeds.

Rebuffing the allegations in a letter issued to the media, Opel claims its own tests reveal the emission values of the Zafira 1.6 CDTi to be “absolutely correct and in accordance with the law”.

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Comments
12

23 October 2015
Quote:

Furthermore, the German Environmental Aid Association says the amount of NOx generated by the front-wheel-drive Zafira 1.6 CDTi increases rapidly when accelerated to 150km/h (93mph) on the dynamometer in two-wheel mode.

Of course it will. The car, like all cars from all manufacturers, are set up to do well in lab tests (without a defeat device), and in those tests, they never go that fast. All this proves is that they all set up their cars to perform the best they can at the official tests, and to hell with what actually happens in the real world.

23 October 2015
.... as soon as someone passes the test, they drive completely differently!!!

23 October 2015
I'm a bit surprised that Autocar hasn't done some tests of its own (unless I've missed it). After all is should be pretty easy to drive a couple of cars around equipped with exhaust probes. Could it be a case of not wanting to upset the advertisers?

23 October 2015
It's always helpful to see unknown green activists smearing a well-known car firm. A good example, in fact, to other environmentalists who should get out there and sniff those exhaust pipes, right now. And be sure to breathe deeply.

23 October 2015
Is this a smear? If this is a reputable test facility, then surely there are questions to answer? If I were GME, I'd be deeply concerned that one of its models could emit 17 times more pollutants in such a way and want to find out more. I find their swift and forceful denial a little suspect, albeit this is a rather febrile atmosphere at the moment!

23 October 2015
While the accusations seem ludicrous so did the ones that VW ultimately admitted to. This denial by GM is not particularly convincing but it also does not appear definitively that the engine in question operated differently when on the road at speeds the current tests require. This matter should be easy to prove or disprove at any particular level with the correct equipment. I am not sure about the cost of mobile equipment to test emissions but certainly there should be that equipment at a government level if not within the reach of a publishing company. The truth needs to be revealed whether it is to the benefit or detriment of the various manufacturers. Instead of making a denial, or as part of it, GM should state that it welcomes the EU to pick a vehicle at random with this engine to test it and let the chips fall where they may if they are secure in the knowledge that it will pass.

TS7

23 October 2015
... PETROL twin-turbo V8 on order, part of the cure for my mid-life crisis. And eco-spastic-mentalism.

24 October 2015
TS7 wrote:

... PETROL twin-turbo V8 on order, part of the cure for my mid-life crisis. And eco-spastic-mentalism.

Hope you enjoy your new car. Good luck with the mid-life crisis. Hopefully you will become a proper grown up and open your mind, rather than resorting to puerile insults.

24 October 2015
I wonder how busy the engineering departments of the manufacturers and Bosch are at present....

24 October 2015
If they've done the official test legally, the fact that it pollutes more if driven in other manors isn't something GME need to answer to. They've donee hat has been legally asked of them. If you don't like that, tell your MP, MSP, or EMP so, and ask them to lol into it.

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