It is unsurprising but disappointing that the initial reaction to Volkswagen’s deceit (Volkswagen scandal: US chief says carmaker ‘totally screwed up’, 22 September) focuses on falling share prices. The impact of this scandal, however, runs far deeper. Research has shown that many car brands tested in factory settings do not perform as expected by European emission standards on the road. With tens of thousands of deaths hastened by exposure to pollution every year, the real lesson to learn is that we absolutely cannot continue to rely on manufacturers for accurate information about vehicles’ emissions. We need independent, real-world testing. This will not only prevent manufacturers from self-certifying results but, by providing accurate data with which to inform both consumer choice and government pollution-reduction strategies, will go a long way in protecting the health and lives of thousands.

Signed by members of the Healthy Air Campaign:

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Source: Guardian Environment