Renault is to recall 15,000 automobiles to correct an emissions fault, as well as releasing a voluntary software patch for 700,000 other cars aimed at reducing NOx emissions.
The French OEM is recalling Captur SUVs fitted with its 110ps diesel motor, which has an apparent engine processor fault that disables the exhaust after-treatment system, causing NOx levels to rise significantly.
Thierry Bollore, Renault’s chief competitive officer, defended the company in a briefing at Renault’s headquarters: “We agree that our position is not satisfactory – we are the first ones to admit that we have room for improvement. We are not cheating, we are meeting the norms, and we are not trying to trick the consumer.”
French energy minister Ségolène Royal broke the recall news on French radio on January 19, saying “Renault committed to recall more than 15,000 vehicles to check up and fix them so that the filtration system works even when the weather is hot or below 17ºC, because that’s when the filtration system didn’t work anymore.”
The news comes following Royal’s earlier announcement that the French government’s emissions commission had completed research on 22 of the 100 different models of cars it planned to test, and although none were so far found to have cheat software on board, a number of cars did show consistent emissions ratings that were higher than those declared. Royal has promised that the full results will be published once all of the cars have been fully tested.
Renault shares dropped 20% in value last week as French anti-fraud investigators raided several Renault sites in France. The French manufacturer has sought to underline the fact that no cheat devices have been found on its automobiles and says that it is working on ways to further reduce CO₂ emissions from its cars, and Royal has said that shareholders and employees should “rest easy”.
January 19, 2016