#Dieseldämmerung: DUH tests Renault Espace with “frightening” results

renault-escpace-2015 Picture couresy Autocar

As expected by the Dailykanban, German environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe today said cars by French automaker Renault are exceeding EU NOx limits in an alarming way.

In measurements (report attached) conducted by the renowned Abgasprüfstelle der Berner Fachhochschule in Switzerland, the Renault Espace 1.6 dCi had NOx emissions up to 25 times higher than current EURO 6 limits. The organization called the results “frightening.” Said DUH chief Jürgen Resch:

“The tests show a certain pattern. Only when the car was prepared in a certain way for next day’s test, the car passed with flying colors. Any deviations of the reconditioning resulted in emissions which we had never measured that high.”

During the preconditioning, any old crud is being burned out to keep it from influencing test results. For that, the freeway part of the cycle is being driven exactly three times, “something that can easily be identified by any software,” says Der Spiegel.

According to ICCT’s Axel Friedrich, „emissions that high were not seen since the late 80s of the last century, when Euro emission standards were introduced.”

Last September, Renault-Nissan Alliance spokesperson Rachel Konrad told Dailykanban that Renault “does not make, install, authorize or otherwise use defeat devices.”

In its press release, DUH said it would test more cars. According to rumors in the EU auto industry, these tests have already been conducted with horrendous results. Apparently, the environmental group subscribes to a steady drip strategy, to keep the matter in the news. The industry now braces for a program in Germany’s ARD Panorama, which is expected to air on November 26.

DUH claims that EU limits for NOx are exceeded in many German cities, and that government are looking the other way instead of enforcing rules that are on the books. Last week, the organization filed a lawsuit against several German states, with the aim to force enforcement. The WHO classifies NOx as “carcinogenic for human beings.“

Update: Renault issued a statement, saying that it “disputes” the findings. According to Renault, “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’.”  Renault is endeavoring to fully understand the tests in detail.