The “Dieselgate” scandal continues to deepen for auto manufacturer Volkswagen. The software that allowed the vehicles to cheat emissions test and allowed for much more pollution into the air than legally allowable. In a report by Car and Bike, the scandal has caused 5,000 deaths per year due to the increase in pollution.
The journal Nature published a report in May that said excessive emissions from vehicles that use diesel gasoline were responsible for approximately 38,000 “premature” deaths worldwide in 2015. A newer study, which was published in Environmental Research Letters, focused on how the emissions scandal affected Europe alone.
A team of researchers from Norway, Austria, Sweden, and the Netherlands came to the conclusion that about 10,000 deaths in Europe annually can be directly tied to small particle pollution from light duty diesel vehicles. The report also indicates that half of these deaths could have been avoided if emissions in the labs had matched actual field emissions.
Volkswaken touted their diesel vehicles as being better for the environment and the demand for diesel vehicles over petrol vehicles rose sharply. The study authors estimated that there are over 100 million diesel cars in Europe today, which is twice the number in other countries combined.
The countries with the heaviest burden environmentally are Italy, Germany, and France.
Earlier this month, Europe began enforcing stricter emissions testing.
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