24 January, 2020

Dutch authorities warn carmakers over diesel emissions irregularities

Jeep and Suzuki are in breach of emissions regulations in the Netherlands, according to a report from the country’s transport authority (RDW).

The RDW completed research into the ‘emissions behaviour’ of the Suzuki Vitara and Jeep Grand Cherokee and found that there are unauthorised emissions strategies, driven by the engine management system on both models.

‘The emission control systems of these types of vehicles function differently on the road over time than during the official test on the dynamometer,’ the report says. ‘As a result, the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) on the road are many times higher than the limit values ​​that were valid during the admission of the vehicles.’

The findings relate to models with Euro 5 diesel engines.

Not enough

Even though Suzuki has developed and applied a software update to all vehicles in Europe, the RDW has found no improvement in emissions since this step was taken. Jeep has also developed a software update, which the authority is currently assessing for approval. The RDW has decided that Suzuki must come up with adequate improvement measures to reduce emissions. 

If these measures are not complied with, the RDW has stated that it will begin the withdrawal procedure for European type approval. This could see the model banned not just from Dutch roads, but in other EU countries as well.

‘The RDW makes various improvement proposals,’ the report continues. ‘One of these is (as the conclusion of the recall process) an obligation to repair the vehicle for the owner. If a vehicle has not been repaired within a certain period, this should lead to a ban on driving on the road. The RDW also makes proposals for improvements in processes and information provision, both towards manufacturers/traders and vehicle owners.’  

Working together

Suzuki has said it is cooperating with the Dutch authorities over their findings, and it is required to respond to the investigation by mid-February.

In a statement, the carmaker said diesel versions of its Vitara and S-Cross vehicles used engines and emissions software supplied by Fiat Chrysler, manufacturers of Jeep models.

Authorities are wary over diesel emissions, with the scandal started by Volkswagen refusing to go away. Daimler has been fined over irregularities in its vehicle emissions testing, with a recall issued, while authorities in Germany have also raided several sites related to Mitsubishi following reports of emissions wrongdoing.