Drivers of some of the most popular cars are being poisoned by flawed air-con systems that are filtering out as little as one per cent of toxic particles.
Motorists could be inhaling millions of toxic particles with every breath.
Researchers at Emissions Analytics analysed the air inside 11 cars to test how effective the ventilation systems were at removing harmful particles.
Ford’s Fiesta caught just 40 per cent of toxic particles
The Toyota C-HR removed just one per cent of poisonous particles while the VW Polo removed 35 per cent.
By contrast, the Meredes-Benz E-class filtered out 90 per cent of pollutants, even in heavy traffic.
Pollution comes mainly from other vehicle’s exhausts and the toxic particles are linked to asthma attacks and other illnesses.
‘There is little data to tell consumers what they are buying. So if you have kids with asthma or other conditions you cannot tell if the car you are buying will protect them,’ Molden told The Sunday Times.
His company found up to 57,000 toxic particles in every cubic centimetre of roadside air samples.
Their figures mean drivers are inhaling up to 28million particles with every breath.
Volkswagen said its cars were fitted with multiple filters to remove particles and it ‘planned to fit a particulate sensor in future models’, according to The Sunday Times.
Toyota said it was not aware of the problem and it will be looking into the ‘surprising’ figures.