The French automaker Renault is pushing back against claims by a Swiss study that cited the diesel Espace minivan as producing 25 times the legal limit for emissions, Reuters reports.
Renault became the next major automaker after the VW AG brands accused of fielding diesel-engined car that produce more than the advertised level of emissions, with a German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe calling attention to a report commissioned from the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland. The study is said to have determined that the 1.6-liter Espace built to the Euro 6 emissions compliance standard produced up to 2.06 gams of NOx per kilometer, which it claims is in excess of 25 times the legal limit. The study also reportedly cites that the Espace equipped with this diesel engine was able to meet the legal 80-milligram level only with a cold engine and with pre-conditioning.
"As previously stated, Renault reiterates that Espace complies with applicable regulations, just as all its vehicles," Renault said in a statement released today. "The test procedures used by the University of Bern are not all compliant with European regulations. The report shows important variations in test findings which are not conclusive and require 'additional measurements.'"
The German group is calling for reform in the testing and certification procedures of gas and diesel engines in the EU in the wake of the VW diesel crisis, raising the question of whether automakers are too close to the regulatory authorities. The claims by the group come on the heels of greater scrutiy of diesel vehicles in Europe, where they make up a substantially greater percentage of all vehicles sold than they do in North America.
Renault, for its part, pointed out that the Espace had been tested by Germany's ADAC, and that it needed additional information about the conditions of the tests carried out in the study.
"Renault is endeavoring to fully understand the tests in detail especially in light of the findings published in August 2015 by the independent German institute ADAC which tested the Espace model and concluded that it complied with regulations," the automaker stated.