Emissions testing, carried out by German lobby group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH Group) has returned results that potentially reveal that both Renault and Opel have engines that do not meet claimed NOx outputs.
Both manufacturers have denied the claims, and have demanded to see the documentation surrounding the test procedure, claiming the tests were not carried out in line with regulations.
DUH Group’s results have not been independently verified, but allege that the Renault Espace people mover, when fitted with a 1.6 litre turbo diesel, produced emissions up to 25 times beyond legal limits.
In response, Renault issued a statement saying, “Renault reiterates that Espace complies with applicable regulations, just as all its vehicles.”
“The report shows important variations in test findings which are not conclusive and require “additional measurements”.”
Similarly, an earlier test conducted on the 1.6 litre diesel Opel Zafira revealed emissions discrepancies, at that time Opel ran its own testing, supervised by Germany’s TÜV certification body, which rejected the claims.
Neither of the two vehicles in question are offered for sale in Australia.
The findings are a result of Volkswagen’s emissions testing scandal, which has brought the test results of other European manufacturers into question.
While many makers have already released statements confirming their compliance with emissions regulations, test authorities have gone into overdrive to find the next potential emissions cheat.
In late September DUH Group published similar claims regarding diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz, a claim sharply denied by the company.
Peugeot admits that certain ‘testing optimisations’ exist under the current regime to enhance figures, and it is widely acknowledged that most manufacturers take advantage of these optimisations to arrive at the best possible test results.
In the case of claims against renault however, the DUH Group alleges that an emissions defeat device, similar to that used by Volkswagen, is at play in the Espace diesel.
Cold engine testing returned emissions results within the allowable range, while a hot engine, and high-speed tests yielded results up to 25 times above permissible nitrogen oxides limits.
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