European Investment Bank asks French diesel inquiry to investigate Renault’s use of loans

by SpeedLux
European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank has asked investigators in France to discover whether 800 million euros ($ 863 million) of EU-backed loans to Renault might have been used to establish test-cheating diesel motor, according to files observed by Reuters.

The European Union lending arm asked judges, leading a fraud investigation into preliminary findings that Renault diesel engine had been set up to manipulate nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions tests.

Renault, which has regularly rejected breaking any laws or emissions guidelines, had no instant comment on Friday. The Paris prosecutor’s office had nothing to say either.

Since 2009, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has given over 8 billion euros in preferential loans to back advancement of automobiles with lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by automakers consisting of VW, known since 2015 for using software “defeat devices” to deceive U.S. regulatory tests.

Technologies funded by the EIB have consisted diesel engines, since they give off less CO2 than gasoline equivalents. Just recently, however, diesels have been revealed to produce more times the legal limit of toxic NOx in actual driving.

“The EIB has given Renault numerous loans to fund tasks consisting of research and development to decrease vehicle CO2 emissions (totaling up to over 800 million euros),” the bank’s chief fraud investigator informed the French judges.

The January 30 letter also proposes a follow-up conference “in order to establish whether our financing is implicated in your investigations and to provide you all possible support.”

It includes: “The EIB enforces a zero-tolerance policy towards fraud and corruption and strives to make sure that no illegal activity tarnishes its business.”

A spokeswoman for the Luxembourg-based bank refused to talk about the contact with French prosecutors. Two 400 million-euro loans given to Renault in 2009 and 2013 have since been compensated, she stated, and a third outstanding 180 million-euro facility did not cover any diesel development.

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