German environmental watchdogs Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) have claimed that some diesel-engined cars built by Renault-Nissan are exceeding EU NOx limits in an alarming way. Specifically, cars powered by the companies’ 1.6 dCi engine had NOx emissions up to twenty-five times higher than the current EURO 6 emissions limits. (!)
Jürgen Resch, the DUH chief, was quoted as saying that the Renault tests “show a certain pattern. Only when the car was prepared in a certain way for next day’s test, the car passed with flying colors. Any deviations of the reconditioning resulted in emissions which we had never measured that high.”
The DUH study was conducted in cooperation with the Washington-based International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which was the same group that effectively “caught” VW cheating emissions tests earlier this year. The group claims that the “preconditioning” Renault was putting its test vehicles through would effectively burn out old/accumulated carbon deposits that had built up in the engine, leaving it sparkly clean for emissions testing.
Renault-Nissan, for its part, has flatly denied the use of such a cheat in their cars. Renault-Nissan Alliance spokesperson Rachel Konrad told Dailykanban that Renault “does not make, install, authorize or otherwise use defeat devices.”
Since both Renault and Nissan are seen as leaders in the development of electric vehicles, it seems unlikely that they’d risk their green cred on such a low-volume product. Although, to be fair, you could have said the same about Volkswagen a few months ago!