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Renault  French connection: Initial independent tests have shown that Renault vehicles were not fitted with an emissions defeat device, but French fraud investigators still went ahead with raids on the head office.

French connection: Initial independent tests have shown that Renault vehicles were not fitted with an emissions defeat device, but French fraud investigators still went ahead with raids on the head office.

Share price tumbles following raids on Renault HQ investigating emissions numbers

FRENCH fraud investigators have raided three of Renault’s main sites, including its Paris headquarters, in a bid to determine whether there are anomalies with the car-maker’s emissions reporting.

It follows the ‘dieselgate’ scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen Group since late September when it was discovered that some of the German giant’s models across a number of its brands had been fitted with a device that cheats emissions testing.

Renault Group’s shares fell by as much as 23 per cent after French union officials confirmed that the sites had been searched, reportedly wiping €5.8 billion ($A9b) from its market value.

About 25 Renault models are being independently tested by the French Homologation Authority to determine whether they have been fitted with a so-called cheat device that results in lower emissions when under test. This is part of a wider test sample of a number of car-makers, including PSA Peugeot Citroen.

Renault said in a statement that as of the end of December 2015, four of its vehicles had been tested, and no defeat device had been discovered.

The statement explained that the French Agency for Energy and Climate, which is the main contact for the testing commission, “already considers that the on-going procedure would not reveal the presence of a defeat device on Renault's vehicles”.

The car-maker described the testing as “good news for Renault,” and said it is part of its corporate plan to further reduce emissions.

“The on-going tests open the way for improvement solutions for future and current Renault vehicles, presented in its Renault Emissions Plan which is aimed at improving the energy performance of our vehicles.”

Last month Renault released a statement reaffirming its commitment to reducing emissions and announcing an additional 50 million investment into developing systems to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

In this week’s statement, Renault confirmed that the General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control – similar to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – had visited the car-maker’s corporate headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt, as well as the Renault Technical Centre in Lardy and the Technocentre in Guyancourt as part of its investigations.

“Renault's teams are fully cooperating with the independent technical commission and the additional investigations decided by the Ministry of Economy.”

In November, independent tests in Switzerland on a 1.6-litre diesel Espace people-mover allegedly showed NOx emissions of up to 25 times the legal limit, although the company denied a breach of European emissions test rules.

Meanwhile, fellow French automotive giant, PSA Peugeot Citroen, released a statement announcing that test results conducted by the same technical committee on its vehicles have shown an absence of cheat devices on PSA models.

In a not so subtle swipe at Renault, the company said; “PSA Peugeot Citroen has not been the subject of a search by France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF).”


Renault  French connection: Initial independent tests have shown that Renault vehicles were not fitted with an emissions defeat device, but French fraud investigators still went ahead with raids on the head office.










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