Renault emissions probe prompts recall of 15,000 cars for engine checks

Renault Captur - front cornering
19 Jan, 2016 5:00pm Martin Saarinen

Renault is to recall 15,000 of its vehicles for checks to the emissions system. None of the cars has been sold yet

Renault will recall 15,000 of its vehicles fitted with the dCi 110 engine due to an error in the device that controls emissions.

Engines on the diesel models will be recalled to "address an error in the engine's calibration unit" which has been corrected on new vehicles since September 4 2015, the French company added.

Renault insisted that its vehicles "are not equipped with fraudulent software or systems designed to bypass the emission control system".

The recall will affect 270 Renault Capturs in the UK but these are vehicles that haven't actually been sold to consumers so the recall won't affect any Renault owners.

The news of the Renault recall came just a day after Renault said it is working on a plan to cut its vehicle emissions, in response to the French Government stating that some of Renault's vehicle emissions were above accepted limits. 

• VW emissions scandal: everything you need to know

In the wake of the VW emissions scandal, the French Government set about retesting 100 different cars - 25 of which are Renaults, reflecting the company's market share in the country. So far, four Renaults have been retested for their mpg, NOx, CO2 and other emissions outputs.  

French energy minister Segolene Royal confirmed that the tests carried out on these Renault cars have not uncovered any ‘defeat device’ emissions cheating software.

"There is no fraud at Renault. Shareholders and employees should be reassured," she said before going on to reveal that levels of CO2 and NOx above accepted limits have been detected in cars from Renault and other manufacturers. PSA, the parent company of PeugeotCitroen and DS, has also issued a statement denying that the tests have revealed any anomalities with its vehicles.

Renault stated it has not cheated on emissions tests, and that the company respects and follows the test norms and conditons. Yet despite these assurances, Renault’s share price fell by nearly a fifth after news that the French carmaker's offices had beed searched by French anti-fraud police emerged. 

News of anti-fraud officials visiting offices at Renault sites that deal with emissions testing and vehicle certification were followed by staff confirming their computers had been temporarily confiscated.

The vehicle retests in France were carried out to ensure no other manufacturers have installed defeat devices in their cars, and so far, four Renault vehicles have been retested for mpg and emissions by the French Homologation Authority mandated by the Ministry of Economy (UTAC). It now appears that the tests have revealed emissions at higher than permissable levels in cars from more than one manufacturer.

Renault also said it is fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigation, and that the tests have not revealed anything in terms of a defeat device being present in the French manufacturer's cars.  

Real world emissions from cars have come under greater scrutiny following the diesel emissions scandal that has engulfed the VW Group. When Auto Express spoke to Renault UK after the VW scandal story broke in September 2015, the company categorically denied emissions foul play and it has reiterated that it does not use emissions cheating devices in its latest statement. 

Read the full story on the VW emissions scandal here...