Nissan and Renault face law suit for alleged diesels and petrols fitted with ‘defeat device’

Time 1 year ago

More than a million diesel-engined Nissans and Renaults and up to 100,000 Nissan Qashqai petrols could be fitted with a prohibited ‘defeat device’, a law firm has claimed.

Following on from recent claims Mercedes had allegedly fitted similar emissions ‘cheat’ devices, Nissan and Renault have now come under the spotlight.

Law firm Harcus Parker said it has seen independent test data showing as many as 1.3m Renaults and Nissans fitted with diesel engines may be fitted with cheat devices.

But the firm is not just claiming diesels have been manipulated to cheat emissions but petrols too.

Harcus Parker says it has obtained documents which show Nissan Qashqais fitted with a 1.2-litre petrol engine breach emissions limits by up to 15 times when driven on the road.

Damon Parker, senior partner at Harcus Parker, which is launching legal action, said: ‘For the first time, we have seen evidence that car manufacturers may be cheating emissions tests of petrol, as well as diesel vehicles.

‘We have written to Renault and Nissan to seek an explanation for these extraordinary results, but the data suggests to me that these vehicles, much like some VWs and Mercedes cars, know when they are being tested and are on their best behaviour then and only then.

‘These are vehicles which could and should meet European air quality limits in normal use, but rather than spend a little more on research and development, Renault and Nissan appear to have gone down the same path as VW and Mercedes and decided to cheat the tests.’

Harcus Parker claimed owners of affected cars are entitled to compensation worth around £5,000 each.

A Nissan spokesman said: ‘Nissan strongly refutes these claims. Nissan has not and does not employ defeat devices in any of the cars that we make, and all Nissan vehicles fully comply with applicable emissions legislation.

‘The initial report from 2017, which looked at the variation between lab and real world conditions, showed variances for most brands involved. It also stated that the Nissan tested complied with all required regulatory limits.

‘Emissions standards have evolved since 2017, and we have introduced a new range of powertrains to meet them.’

Renault said in a statement: ‘All Groupe Renault vehicles are, and always have been, type-approved in accordance with the laws and regulations for all the countries in which they are sold and are not fitted with ‘defeat devices’.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer.

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