What is it?

In the dispute it is not, contrary to what one might expect, even the primary driving bans. But to the new exhaust test RDE (Real Driving Emissions), the emissions of Cars in real Roads rather than in the laboratory measures. The measurement results of the RDE should be closer to the actual emissions of the cars. Because this Test is harder than the tests in the laboratory, had raised the EU-Commission in the year 2016 the specified nitrogen oxide limit value for new cars, to technical measurement inaccuracies of the RDE-balance Tests, so to speak, a concession to the auto industry. This approach explains the EU court to be unlawful.

The cities of Paris, Brussels and Madrid had appealed to the court against increase of the limits. They argued that the deviations from the limit would be of benefit to the auto manufacturers in their Diesel strategy. In addition, the higher limits ran counter to the efforts of the cities to the legally required air pollution control.

How has the EU Commission to increase the limits?

With the introduction of a so-called correction factor in the year 2016, the EU-Commission has de facto elevated nitrogen oxide limit values for RDE-exhaust gas test permits. So far, the new cars with the Euro 6 emissions standard must comply with the value of 80 milligrams of nitrogen dioxide per kilometre, only in the laboratory, from 2019, with the introduction of the RDE but also on the road.

thanks to the increase in the threshold by the Commission, the cars are allowed to the limit of 80 milligrams of the Real, however, significantly exceed that by 2020, the values in the RDE may be testing the 2.1 times of the current limit value (168 milligrams), then 1.5-fold (120 milligrams). This definition of the factor by the EU-Commission has stated the EU court to be unlawful. The correction would be taken factor, so the actual nitrogen oxide emissions of Euro 6 vehicles used, might be this fall under the prohibitions of the relevant limit values and, accordingly, is subject to sanctions.

What has been decided in the EU court?

The EU court in Luxembourg gave the legal the applicant cities and decided that the EU Commission had raised the nitrogen oxide emissions limits for cars the Euro 6 standard to the wrong. The judge declared that the EU was not entitled to Commission for redetermination of the “extraordinarily high” threshold for nitrous oxide.

What is the verdict for owners of modern Euro 6 vehicles?

Here, the opinions diverge. The German Association of the automotive industry (VDA) sees no consequences for German drivers. Accordingly, the court assesses the Commission’s increased limits as unlawful, but only in the way of their creation. The conversion factors for laboratory – and road values would not have been allowed to pretend the EU Commission alone. The judgment of the impacts specifically, but it is completely open.

“in Principle, the possibility that cities could in the future speak for Euro-6 Diesel driving bans,” said Stefan Bratzel, Director of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM). The increasing of the diesel problems.

The Federation for environment and nature conservation (BUND) believes that the decision of the EU court “is likely to have far – reaching implications for future court rulings, the” – “pattern of complaints to registrations and sales bans to complain to”.

what’s next now?

everything stays the same. For at least 14 months of the previous regulation with elevated limit values of the EU Commission. This is to ensure that there continues to be ever limits to which the manufacturer of the exhaust gas test can relate to, and not a law-free space. The court has ordered the European Commission to find in this time a new regulation. She now has two months to go against the decision of the court in appeal. Otherwise, must submit to the Commission within 12 months of a new legislative proposal. Whether and how the limits at the end of change, is still open.

What is the Euro standard?

The classification into emission classes has been introduced in order to make car exhaust gases progressively cleaner. So cars from year to year, must comply with more stringent limits, in order to get an approval. Regulate the emissions from coal are water and nitrogen oxides as well as fine dust. The regulation began in 1992 with Euro 1. and since 2015, the latest Euro 6 standard. The maximum emissions of nitrogen dioxide has been reduced since the exhaust emission standard Euro 3 by the way, continuously from 500 milligrams per Kilometer, about 250 milligrams (Euro 4) and 180 milligrams (Euro 5) to the current level of 80 milligrams, according to the Euro 6.

How dirty diesel cars are really?

According to a survey by the Federal Environment Agency last year, the Euro 5 cars are the dirtiest. You will encounter in the real 900 milligrams of nitrogen dioxide per kilometre of operation on average – five times the laboratory limit value. Euro-4 Diesel from encounter with 674 milligrams, almost three times the limit value. Euro-6 Diesel, which were approved without the RDE Test, emit an average of 507 milligrams. This is more than six times the current limit. According to the German Federal environment Agency only Diesel of the latest Euro standards 6d-TEMP and 6d are relatively clean.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.