Yet another of the top auto-manufacturers in Europe, Renault, is now facing a criminal investigation in France related to possible diesel emissions test manipulation, according to recent reports.
French prosecutors were sent the findings of an inquiry into the matter by the consumer fraud watchdog DGCCRF, one which details suspicions about Renault’s use of engine technologies not in compliance with local laws. This is apparently what triggered the investigation.
The news comes as the ongoing Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal continues playing out, as concerns have recently been raised by German authorities that Fiat-Chrysler has employed similar test cheats as Volkswagen, and as the effects of the Mitsubishi fuel-economy fraud in Japan continue to ramify (Nissan now owns a majority stake in the company as a result).
Not a good look for many of the top auto manufacturers in the world. No wonder a company with an approach as fresh as Tesla seems to be attracting so much enthusiasm. At this point, the established firms, and seemingly the governing authorities as well, seem to be concerned solely with profit and shareholder happiness, even if it’s at the expense of citizen health and productivity.
In a statement on the matter, a spokesperson for the French Government stated: “It is now up to the courts to determine what further action to take over the suspected breaches.”
Automotive News provides more: “Renault had explained the NOx-cutting exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in its top-selling diesel engines had been found to cause serious turbo clogging problems. Engineers responded by programming the EGR to shut down outside a narrow ‘thermal window’ of air intake temperatures, 17-35 degrees Celsius (63-95 degrees Fahrenheit). While passing regulatory tests carried out at room temperature over short periods, the protocol sends NOx emissions sky-high on the road.”
Continuing: “The findings now before prosecutors include material seized during police searches at Renault sites, interviews with company officials and results of independent testing carried out on Renault vehicles, an official with knowledge of the investigation said. The prosecutors are expected to carry out their own preliminary inquiry to decide whether to order a formal probe under an investigating judge, which can lead to a full trial.”
Renault has released a public statement on the matter, claiming, amongst other things, that its vehicles “are all and have always been homologated in accordance with the laws and regulations.”
And: “Renault reasserts its determination to enforce its rights to defend company’s corporate interest, as well as its employees and shareholders.”
Of note is that there are apparently a number of other (unnamed) auto manufacturers currently under investigation by the DGCCRF, according to the French government.
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