The Japanese carmaker responsible for some of the most popular small cars in the UK has issued a statement saying “performance of exhaust emissions and fuel economy tests deviated from the prescribed testing environment.” In doing so the “creation of inspection reports based on altered measurement values” occurred.
This Nissan emissions scandal does not make them the first car giant to find themselves in hot water over emissions tests, Volkswagen has in the past made similar headlines over their diesel emissions data, and continue to do so. It has been stated by Nissan however, that this incident affects more than 700 models (dating as far back as 2013) destined for the Japanese market and would therefore not have the global impact that Volkswagen encountered.
This announcement is the latest scandal to have hit Nissan’s testing practices, last September it was revealed that Nissan used unauthorised technicians to conduct final safety inspections on cars sold in Japan resulting in a recall of 1.2 million vehicles.
The statement brought about a level of uncertainty to Nissan’s share price, seeing them fall by over 4.5% before the announcement came about, investors no doubt apprehensive at the path this will take. Although the stock market has seen a wobble over Nissan emissions, recall of vehicles has not yet been announced, unlike German manufacturer Volkswagen. VW has hit the headlines over recent years due to manipulation of emissions testing which has resulted in numerous product recalls and enormous fines including a recent fine of 1 billion Euros (£880m).
Unlike Volkswagen, Nissan does not appear to have been attempting to manipulate the data by using emissions test cheating devices or software, they have just employed very lax systems and have run their exhaust emissions tests badly.
This latest scandal asks deeper questions of the automotive industry, are manufacturers alone in being to blame for these scandals? Should regulators accept some of that blame? While we all want cleaner greener transport, and air quality should be a concern for us all the question could be, are expectations too high?
Ultimately it is likely that these scandals and any that potentially follow are just the final nails in diesel and ultimately fossil fuels coffins, as hybrid and Electric Vehicles seem to be flying off the production line, perhaps fossil fuel is soon to go the way of the dinosaur.