After Volkswagen, Renault and Audi could have cheated on Diesel emissions

EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

After Volkswagen, Renault and Audi could have cheated on Diesel emissions


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The French car maker Renault was forced to deny today a report in the French daily Liberation that its vehicles are equipped with software that allowed its vehicles to cheat on emissions testing.

Liberation claimed to have obtained an investigative document from the Economy Ministry indicating that emissions from two models _ the Renault Captur and the ClioBSE 4.76 % IV _ spewed emissions more than 300 percent higher than the legal limit in real-life conditions.
The paper said that it had consulted documents from France’s Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) which concluded that “the company used a strategy aimed at distorting the results of antipollution tests.”

“Important differences between the performance of certain Renault engines in the laboratory and their results under real conditions,” were found, the paper said, adding the accusation forms the cornerstone of an investigation reportedly opened by French prosecutors in January.

The ministry’s fraud department handed its findings to prosecutors in November.

French authorities raided Renault premises after Volkswagen was found to have used software to cheat on U.S. diesel emissions tests. Renault recalled 15,000 cars last year over excessive levels of harmful gases, but the company insisted there was no intentional wrongdoing.
Renault SA shares fell sharply Wednesday.

Meanwhile, in a parallel development German prosecutors searched today Audi’s two biggest plants and other sites in connection with the emissions scandal still rocking parent Volkswagen, adding to pressure on the luxury division and its Chief Executive Rupert Stadler.

The raids, the first at Audi since VW’s diesel scandal broke 18 months ago, centered on who was involved in the use of any illicit software used in 80,000 VW, Audi and Porsche cars with bigger 3.0 liter engines that were found to exceed U.S. emissions limits.

Volkswagen has already agreed to pay more than $1 billion to fix or buy back the 80,000 cars as part of an overall U.S. settlement expected to cost the group as much as $17.5 billion.
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