Le Dieselgate

Report: Renault Accused of Decades of Emissions Cheating

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The French public prosecutor is investigating Renault for higher emissions levels than are permitted. The carmaker is trying to reassure investors and deflect comparisons to Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal.

  • Facts


    • An 11-month investigation led by France’s anti-fraud agency found that Renault used fraudulent software to falsify the results of antipollution tests since 1990, using the testimony of a former technician.
    • According to calculation performed by France’s economics ministry, up to 900,000 vehicles fitted with illegal software might have been certified and sold in France.
    • The worst-affected models exceed the regulatory carbon dioxide emission threshold by 377 percent.
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Raindrops cover the logo of French car manufacturer Renault on a automobile seen in Paris
Senior Renault managers, including chief executive Carlos Ghosn, are reportedly involved in the suspected fraud. Source: Reuters.

France’s consumer protection agency has accused Renault of having implemented “fraudulent strategies” for more than 25 years to cheat emissions tests of 1 million diesel cars, according to a one-year investigation by French media.

The fresh allegations, a step up from a damning report by the French environment ministry last year, suggest the country’s biggest carmaker could face its own diesel emissions scandal, a year and a half after the revelations roiled Germany’s Volkswagen. Renault has categorically denied the allegations.

The investigation by France’s DGCCRF, the country’s anti-fraud and consumer protection authority, found that the automaker had “used a strategy aimed at distorting the results of anti-pollution tests” for more than 25 years, according to a report published Wednesday in the French daily Libération.

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