Dear CAR Magazine

Friday 26th August, 2011
I'm writing to express my disgust at your article about DPFs in the latest (11th September 2011) issue of CAR Magazine.

European emissions regulations were introduced to reduce the amount of toxic pollution in the air we breathe. Around 35,000 premature deaths are attributed to air pollution each year in Britain alone. Diesel engines are significantly more polluting than petrol and, in order to get around emissions legislation, the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) was introduced. This allows manufacturers to sell rather more polluting diesel cars whilst keeping the PM10 particulate count within allowed levels. It works and, in many cases, it works well.

These devices aren't cheap and are one of the factors that attribute to diesel cars costing more to buy than petrol cars. Obviously, with costs around £1500, things aren't good for diesel owners when these devices go wrong - I respect that.

However you could have produced an insightful article that could have investigated:

- why many car dealers are happy to recommend and sell diesel engined cars fitted with a DPF to town drivers when this is entirely unsuitable for regular driving in traffic?

- why many of these DPF diesel models are exempt from the London Congestion Charge when they often aren't fit for purpose?

- why owners ignore the warnings on their dashboard when things start to go wrong?

- how petrol or petrol hybrid may be a cheaper purchase option when you factor all these costs in?

Instead, you simply point readers to a firm that immorally removes DPF devices from cars, followed by an ECU modification to remove any related dashboard warnings and issues.

These devices exist for good reason. They are designed to reduce pollution in our towns and the overall health of our population - particulates being a major issue for Asthmatics. Aside from the massive ongoing costs of their daily medication, rather more than a £1500 DPF, three people die each day from Asthma alone.

Removing the DPF from a car in this way changes the car away from its original manufacturer specification. This will not only invalidate any warranty that is in place, but will also likely invalidate their insurance policy if they don't notify the insurer of the modifications. Is this an issue for CAR Magazine? No, you're too busy highlighting that the process may release an extra 10-15bhp.

Do you care that many passenger cars have reduced particulate emissions by around 30-50% following the introduction of a DPF? Do you care that these emissions will DOUBLE if they are removed, magnifying respiratory illness for millions of sufferers?

In future, I suggest you stick to Supercars and Range Rovers - leaving the real consumer issues to publications like Which? and others that care enough to put in the required research and balance.

Regards,

Ben

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