The French government may still end up banning the sale of new diesel cars in the country following the completion of its criminal investigations into the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal and recent news concerning Renault, according to the country’s Environment Minister Segolene Royal.
Initial findings in the latter case — Renault’s possible use of illegal engine software — are due next month, the Environment Minister also revealed.
Royal stated: “We will be asking the consumer scams investigators and prosecutors to communicate any findings that will allow us to establish whether it’s required to withdraw sales authorizations.”
Speed Lux provides some more information: “Following Volkswagen’s exposure for using software to cheat US tests, Renault and others have brought in analysis for their own use of ‘defeat devices’ that reduce the effectiveness of innovation to filter poisonous nitrogen oxides (NOx) from exhaust. A Renault representative refused to comment.”
Continuing: “Volkswagen and Renault face French criminal investigations based on suspicions outlined to prosecutors by the DGCCRF customer fraud agency that they had broken emissions regulations. Public energy research firm IFPEN is still taking a look at Renault engine software. … Numerous automakers consisting of Renault, Opel and Fiat use engine software application to minimize the efficiency of their anti-NOx technology outside specific conditions and temperature level ranges. Specialist opinions differ regarding whether such software is legal under EU law, which enables defeat gadgets when deemed essential to safeguard the engine.”
Considering that the diesel car push of the last decade in Europe has been exposed as a scam, if the French government does move to ban Volkswagen and Renault from selling diesel cars in the country, it will be an interesting move. Especially considering the rapid approach of major elections in the country — ones which look likely to be fairly close and could result in the country’s withdrawal from the European Union (and the Union’s subsequent dissolution).
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