VW's Emissions Cheating Accused of Triggering 1,200 Premature Deaths

By Gary Cutlack on at

Volkswagen's fiddling of emissions data on its cars could have bad repercussions for up to 1,200 Europeans, with researchers suggesting that's the number of premature deaths that could be caused by the group's cars pumping out of extra fumes.

This comes from researchers at the MIT, who say the NOx output will hit people in VW's home country of Germany the worst, where 500 people can expect to see as much as 10 years chopped off the ends of their lives as a result of breathing in small amounts of extra exhaust output.

Neighbours Poland, France, and the Czech Republic are the next largest sufferers from the fumes, with MIT's Steven Barrett saying: "It ends up being about a one percent extra risk of dying early in a given year, per microgram per meter cubed of fine particles you’re exposed to. Typically that means that someone who dies early from air pollution ends up dying about a decade early."

The good news is that fixing the cars by the end of 2017 could stop a further 2,600 premature deaths, and those people might need cars, so that's great news if you don't count the dead. [MIT]

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