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Renault hit with emissions cheating allegations
French authorities claim Renault’s Captur and Clio exceed emissions standards
16 Mar 2017
By TUNG NGUYEN
RENAULT has been accused of emissions cheating in its Captur crossover and Clio hatchback from French authorities as a report has surfaced claiming “the company used a strategy aimed at distorting the results of anti-pollution tests”.
Published in French publication Liberation, excerpts of the report are attributed to the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) – the French equivalent to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission – and comes after raids in early 2016 at three of Renault’s operating centres, including its headquarters in Paris.
“Renault SAS has misled consumers on the checks carried out and in particular the regulatory control of the approval on pollutant emissions,” the report said.
According to the findings, the diesel-powered Captur and Clio – which run on Euro 6 and Euro 5 emissions standards respectively – emits up to 377 per cent more NOx emissions than the regulatory threshold, leading to suspicions of a test cheating.
A Parisian judicial inquiry was opened on January 12 where three magistrates will oversee proceedings and none of the alleged affected vehicles are sold in Australia.
Renault has reaffirmed its innocence, stating it has “acknowledged the publication of an unbalanced national newspaper article related to the ‘emission’ case” and that “this article alleges to quote selected excerpts from a report drafted by the DGCCRF.
“Groupe Renault reminds that none of its services has breached European or national regulations related to vehicle homologations. Renault vehicles are not equipped with cheating software affecting anti-pollution systems.”
The French brand refused to comment further on the ongoing investigation, stating that the case is “confidential by nature”.
“As a consequence, Renault cannot confirm the veracity, completeness and reliability of the information published in said article,” it said.
“Renault will prove its compliance with the regulations and reserves its explanations for the judges in charge of investigating this case.”
In January last year, Renault recalled 15,000 oil-burning Capturs for a fault in emissions filtration at certain temperatures.
Independent emissions testing in Switzerland in November 2015 found Renault’s 1.6-litre diesel Espace people-mover emitted up to 25 times to legal limit, but the French brand stated at the time that “the test procedures used… are not all compliant with European regulations”.
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