Renault has been accused of fiddling with its emission tests although the French car-maker has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. The allegations of cheating come at a time when German car-maker Volkswagen is finding it hard to come out of the diesel emission test scandal. It will be interesting to see how Renault deals with the shocking allegations that it falsified the emission tests.
A report published by French daily Liberation claims that Renault used a 'cheat device' in its models to meet emission regulations. The report noted that Renault's Captur and Clio have been found to have released 300 percent higher emission than the limit. This points to the possible use of the deceive device to manipulate test results to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
The reports also suggests that Renault has been allegedly making fraudulent emission claims for more than 25 years and top executives of Renault, including Carlos Ghosn, were involved in the suspected fraud.
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The findings of the investigation were sent to the prosecutors in November 2016 and they ordered an inquiry in January. However, Renault has denied any wrongdoing and said that none of their vehicles are equipped with cheat devices as alleged and that they are confident of proving compliance with the regulations.
"Groupe Renault has acknowledged the publication of an unbalanced national newspaper article related to the 'emission' case. This article alleges to quote selected excerpts from a report drafted by the DGCCRF," Renault said in a statement.
"Groupe Renault will not comment on a current investigation, the latter being confidential by nature and Renault having as yet no access to the case. As a consequence, Renault cannot confirm the veracity, completeness and reliability of the information published in said article. Renault will prove its compliance with the regulations and reserves its explanations for the Judges in charge of investigating this case."
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"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."
"Groupe Renault, as it has always done, will fully cooperate with the judges in the context of an investigation which raises, between the European authorities and the member states, issues of interpretation of the standards governing the conditions of vehicle homologations," it added.
The latest allegations bring back memories of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. In September 2015, Volkswagen had admitted that it installed a secret software that enabled the car-maker to evade exhaust emissions tests by making them appear cleaner in testing.
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The scandal was the biggest to hit the German car-maker. In reality, the cars emitted up to 40 times the legally permissible pollution levels.