A French investigation into alleged emissions cheating by Renault is a step nearer to possible court action, Le Monde reported on Monday, following a technical report that confirmed that some of its diesel engines were set to emit more pollutants outside official test conditions.
After Volkswagen’s 2015 admission that it had cheated engine software with “defeat devices” to evade U.S. diesel tests, several European states started investigations.
They found on-the-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions over 10 times higher the regulatory limits for some Opel, Renault and Fiat Chrysler models, and widespread usage of devices that decrease or shut down exhaust treatment during normal usage.
French prosecutors started criminal investigations into Volkswagen, Renault, PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler in 2016-17 that are still on-going.
A Renault spokesman stated the company could not discuss about the recent report as it had not reveiwed its findings.
“Renault vehicles are not geared up with defeat devices and are homologated in conformity with the regulations in force,” the spokesman stated.
The study by ISAT, a French transport research institute, verified previous findings that engine software in Renault’s Clio and Captur models closed one form of emissions control outside a range of air temperatures spanning official tests but not everyday use, Le Monde reported.
Another anti-pollution technology, the “NOx trap”, did not run cleaning cycles less than speeds of 50 kilometers per hour (31 miles per hour), according to the French daily. Without such periodic purges, the filters become clogged and unproductive.