It turns out that Volkswagen is not the only European automaker with problems relating to the emissions of its diesel vehicles. French car manufacturer Renault SA has announced it plans to recall 15,800 vehicles as well as offer improved emissions systems to more than 700,000 customers. The moves comes after it became public last week that three sites in France had been searched in government raids by fraud investigators in early January.
The French probe, which came after the scandal surrounding Volkswagen AG’s fraud on diesel-emission tests, started with a lab testing 100 randomly chosen vehicles, which included 25 Renault vehicles. The lab testing indicated some anomalies, and the regulators decided to widen the investigation into Renault.
The company claims the problem is just a “calibration” error, and that there is no systematic cheating or cover-up of any kind at Renault.
Of note, despite the ongoing recall of Renault diesel vehicles, the French government announced a few days ago there was no evidence that any auto manufacturers except for VW had used software to cheat in on emissions tests.
Statement from Renault
Renault admitted there was a production error, but was adamant that the firm was not cheating. “We’re not cheating, we are meeting the norms, and we are not trying to trick the consumer,” Thierry Bollore, the firm’s chief competitive officer, emphasized in a presser on Tuesday.
Details on the Renault diesel emissions problem
The company is claiming that a “calibration error” on the pollution control system for a number of diesel-powered Captur sport utility vehicles resulted in insufficient reduction of NOx emissions.
According to the French car maker, the production of the problematic Captur SUVs started in mid-summer, but the problem was not discovered until September. The firm says it repaired the manufacturing process as soon as it was identified. Nonetheless, a decision was made to go ahead and recall 15,800 diesel Captur SUVs manufactured from mid to late summer for readjustment.
Renault also announced it was offering owners of some other diesel cars made by the firm a new software update for the emissions control system, and that around 700,000 vehicles are expected to be eligible for the update.