DIESEL MODELS UNDER SCRUTINY: French automaker Renault has been ordered to work on a technical plan to reduce pollution levels in its diesel models. Image: Sergio Davids / Wheels24
Boulogne-Billancourt, France - French automaker Renault has promised to come up with a "technical plan" over coming weeks to bring down harmful emissions from its vehicles.
Earlier in January 2016, a government-appointed commission said that Renault's diesel cars failed pollution tests and investigators raided its facilities, raising fears the automaker could be caught up in an emissions scandal similar to the one engulfing Volkswagen, which has admitted to using cheating software to fool pollution test detectors.
The commission has so far tested vehicles from a total of eight foreign and French brands, finding carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen dioxide emissions (NOx) from Renault cars to be too high, as well as those in some non-French models.
Renault sales director Thierry Koskas said: "We are working on a technical plan which should allow us to cut emissions."
Read: Is Renault embroiled in emissions scandal?
He added: "The plan is being elaborated by our engineering team and will be presented in coming weeks.
"Renault did not cheat," Koskas said, referring to questions raised last week over how emissions levels could be so different between test conditions and real conditions on the road.
"I want to restate this very firmly.We are not using any software or other (fraudulent) methods. In test conditions, we respect emissions norms."
He added: "But when we are no longer in test conditions, there is indeed a difference between real conditions and control conditions, that is a fact.
'Frightening' pollution levels
Koskas gave no details of what the "technical plan" may entail, but said that Renault would be meeting with the government-appointed commission later on Monday for "technical discussions".
Renault currently uses technology called NOx absorber, or NOx trap, which is cheaper and simpler than a rival system called selective catalytic reduction (SCR), but also less efficient.
Renault already announced in December that it would spend €50-million on emissions reduction, after German consumer body Umwelthilfe found what it called "frightening" pollution levels when testing a Renault Espace Diesel model.