The Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ emissions saga has seen many of the world’s major carmakers thrust into an unwelcome spotlight over emissions claims, with Renault the latest to hit the news following a visit by anti-fraud investigators from the Agency for Energy and Climate (DGEC).
The investigators were seeking to determine if Renault had been involved in any emissions-related cover-up. The French carmaker has been quick to respond in its defence.
France’s Les Echos newspaper reports that the Renault Captur (pictured, top of page) and Espace were targeted in the investigations for alleged breaches of maximum NOx limits, along with a third unknown model.
The Captur was of particular interest to authorities, given its Euro 6 emissions compliance, while the current Espace complies with Euro 5 standards. The newspaper claims the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Ford’s C-Max are also under investigation.
The report claims an unnamed source tipped the paper off to a possible breach which could lead to a recall, and Renault has now issued that recall, but says no emissions trickery has taken place.
Instead, the carmaker says diesel-powered Capturs may be suffering from a fault at the manufacturing stage, and Renault will offer a software upgrade to around 700,000 customers should they choose to participate in the recall.
Renault has also issued a statement regarding the investigations in France, confirming that it is cooperating with authorities. Renault also says that the program established by the French Government following dieselgate will target all carmakers in France.
The French Homologation Authority mandated by the Ministry is currently testing 100 vehicles “in circulation”, including 25 Renaults.
Renault says France’s Agency for Energy and Climate has declared that it does not expect to find any emissions ‘defeat devices’ on Renault vehicles. Renault however is to announce plans in coming weeks to reduce diesel emissions of its vehicles following the findings that some of its vehicles exceeded emissions limits.
The French carmaker added that it is in the top three (first in 2013, second in 2014) in carbon footprint ‘improvement programs’, with a 10 percent reduction achieved over the last three years.
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