According to a new report by France's Le Figaro, translated by Autoblog, the company is in hot water with French authorities, again, accusing Renault of intentionally cheating emissions testing in a similar way to Volkswagen's defeat devices.
Early investigations carried out by authorities have reportedly shown certain models emitting 10 times the legal limit of NOx.
According to the French publication, Renault has "noted" the probe's findings but states that its vehicles comply with all emissions regulations, though three French judges will look into whether the matter is due to cheating tests.
Above and Top: Renault Espace
However, unlike Volkswagen's 'Dieselgate' saga, it's reported that Renault's alleged cheat device is hardware-related, not software.
Le Figaro adds that several other brands could be in the firing line, with 52 models Citroen, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota and Ford all involved in emissions tests with most exceeding the legal limit - though the severity varies. French laws allow for a tolerance of 2.1 times the limit.
This isn't the first time Renault has been accused of breaching emissions laws. Last year, an independent environmental lobby group, DUH, claimed the Espace people mover was polluting at up to 25 times legal limit. The company hit back saying the tests conducted are not the same as those run by the government, and that all of its vehicles comply with emissions regulations.
Earlier this week, Italian automaker Fiat was accused of fitting defeat devices in its diesel engines, with the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel version of the 500X SUV one of several models claimed to emit well over legal limits, while last week parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was accused by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of installing defeat devices in its 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engines.
Above: Fiat 500X
Volkswagen also pleaded guilty to three criminal charges last week for as a result of the well-documented 'Dieselgate' saga, in conjunction with $4.3billion worth of fines and six executives being charged by the FBI.
Does the recent emissions drama make you think twice about buying a diesel-powered vehicle? Let us know in the comments below
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