Europeans aren’t just sweating through the long, hot summer. City dwellers may be coughing and wheezing more, too.

Diesel vehicles, which still command nearly half the market for new cars, are left with barely any pollution controls when temperatures soar above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit), according to France’s Petroleum and New Energies Research Institute. That means smog-inducing nitrogen oxide emissions that were at the center of the Volkswagen AG scandal spew into the environment unchecked.

“There are higher emissions of nitrogen oxides because the setups don’t work as well when it’s very hot,” said Gaetan Monnier, who heads the unit that led random government probes of cars after the VW scandal. “The atmosphere is also more reactive during a heatwave, making the level of cars’ emissions even more of an issue.”



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