Dieselgate. Mercedes credibility hit by Renault emissions scandal

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Dieselgate goes beyond VW. Mercedes’ reputation is in jeopardy after suspicions about potential defeat devices installed in Renault sourced diesel engines were revealed by French anti-fraud police.

According to AFP, authorities already raided Renault’s Lardy Technical Centre and the Guyancourt Technocentre. In search of evidence, computers and technical equipment were removed from the two sites. The departments that were raided were those of certification and adjustment of engine control systems, French CGT union official Florent Grimaldi has revealed.

The Renault Dieselgate scandal comes after the Royal Comission, a specialist technical committee set by the French authorities to test real-world emissions of all diesel vehicles sold on the local market, is apparently suspecting Renault of installing electronic cheats, known as defeat devices, on its 1.6-liter dCi engines, also used by Mercedes’ own models, like the C-Class. The probe started in September and involved 25 Renault models.

The anti-fraud police raids are said to be directly related to the committee’s findings, the data gathered from Renault’s offices being used to either validate or dismiss the allegations.

Renault denied any wrong-doing and said its diesel engines are clean and void of any defeat devices meant to trick emissions tests. Even so, Renault shares have tanked, a 20% drop taking the company’s value down by 5 billion, today.

Daimler has also addressed the scandal, saying that all engines supplied by the French manufacturer respect the current EU legislation. “We do not use defeat devices. Renault has assured us that it also doesn’t,” a Daimler spokesman is quoted saying by Autonews.