French carmaker Renault is recalling 15,000 vehicles in order to make technical changes to their engines that will bring them into line with emissions regulations.
The French Energy Minister Segolene Royal made the announcement on RTL radio this morning despite an announcement by the company last week that an investigation into its vehicles had found no evidence that it used ‘defeat devices’ to cheat the regulations.
The investigation into Renault follows the saga surrounding rival manufacturer Volkswagen (VW), which has been embroiled in a scandal for months after it emerged that the firm had installed software in certain diesel models that allowed the cars to pass government emissions tests while emitting 40 times the permitted amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in real-world driving.
The company is currently facing a potential fine from the US government of billions of dollars. Renault has been forced to begin recalling some of its vehicles after tests showed their emission levels were too high.
"Renault has committed to recalling a certain number of vehicles, more than 15,000 vehicles, to check them and adjust them correctly so the filtration system works even when it is very hot or when it is below 17 degrees, because that's when the filtration system no longer worked," said Royal.
She said the tests needed to be based on real driving conditions, whatever the outside temperature.
The carmaker said it would produce a ‘technical plan’ to lower the level of emissions produced from its vehicles.
Renault will recall the 15,000 cars before they go on sale, unlike VW, which may be forced to buy back or replace approximately 115,000 of its diesel vehicles that are equipped with emission-cheating technology and already in the ownership of US customers.
Royal recently said that a number of foreign manufacturers are also guilty of exceeding emissions limits but she has declined to name them.