Thousands of diesel cars have had pollution filter removed

Thousands of diesel cars have had pollution filter removed

Thousands of drivers in the UK are breaking the law by driving a diesel vehicle without a pollution filter, according to BBC 5 Live Investigates.

All diesel cars and vans produced since 2009 have been fitted with a particulate filter, which cuts harmful emissions from the exhaust by up to 95%. However, they can get clogged up and break down, sometimes costing thousands of pounds to replace.

Because of the cost, some motorists are opting to have them removed, 5 Live reported.

The resulting pollution could be contributing to worsening air quality in towns and cities.

Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at Kings College, London, said that a car without its pollution filter has a particulate count 20 times higher than one with it.

"The particles lead to numerous health problems such as lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's -- and can also affect an unborn child in the womb," he explained.

According to the radio programme, it is illegal for drivers to use a car with the particulate filter removed, but it is not illegal for garages to take them out.

Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency show that 1,800 cars have been caught in the last three years -- but experts believe that many more are still on the road.

And a test for BBC 5 Live Investigates revealed that garages failed to spot that a car was missing its filter in three separate MOT examinations.

Nick Molden, chief executive of Emissions Analytics, told 5 Live: "It is clear a more detailed inspection of vehicles is required during MOT, and potentially spot-checking of vehicles in real world situations is needed, too.

"The MOT test is clearly not fit for purpose in checking if a DPF has been removed."

Do you drive a diesel? Did you check the vehicle had a particulate filter when you bought it?


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Posted 02 November 2017 by Ellie Priestley

Tags: Car, Cars, Diesel, Geoffrey, Insurance, Motor, Pollution

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