Well, this doesn't sound too clever for our already pulverised environment. The UK's Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has informed the BBC that at least 1800 diesel cars have been driving around our island's roads without proper pollution filters over the past few years.
Even though it's illegal to drive a diesel car in the UK without a pollution filter, almost 2000 cars have been caught without since 2014. Worryingly, the DVSA has told BBC 5 Live Investigates that it believes many, many more vehicles are out there that have yet to be discovered. Currently, the MOT test only requires a visual inspection, and the organisation argues that this is not fit for purpose when it comes to identifying whether diesel cars have adequate filters installed. The DVSA is hoping to introduce changes next year that will improve this inspection process.
Unfortunately, the current plague of law-breaking diesels polluting our roads can be attributed to one primary, penny-pinching factor: filters can cost thousands of pounds to replace. Because of these repair costs, many motorists are choosing to have pollution filters removed from their vehicles, and there's currently no law in place to stop garages from carrying out this procedure.
Speaking to the BBC, Frank Kelly, who's professor of environmental health at London's Kings College, warned the fumes these offending diesel drivers are releasing into the air could significantly endanger the health of UK pedestrians:
"A car with a DPF removed 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."
If you're currently driving a diesel car on UK roads, you really should check with your local garage to ensure your pollution filter is A) adequately fitted, and B) y'know, actually there.