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French Automaker Could Be Facing VW-Style Scandal

REUTERS/Babu

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Chris White Tech Reporter

A French report on fuel emission levels of automaker Renault showed abnormalities similar to the ones found at Volkswagen, German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters Wednesday.

Regulators have scrutinized the automotive industry over rising levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution due to various automaker fuel emission scandals –which all stem from Volkswagen’s scandal.

VW acknowledged in September to installing devices in many of its most popular vehicles, including the Beetle and Porsche Cayenne, expressly to curb smog-producing nitrous oxide emissions. Nearly 585,000 vehicles in the U.S. had the software, with roughly 11 million vehicles worldwide. The besieged company was forced to halt vehicle sales in South Korea in July as the country continues to target the German automaker.

“We have decided to suspend sales of the affected models to reduce confusion among dealers and customers,” a spokesman for Volkswagen in South Korea said in July.

The move to end sales in the country comes as the environment ministry considers whether to revoke certification of the 32 VW vehicles, and its Audi brand, which would essentially ban the company’s operations. VW presented its case July 25.

South Korea’s investigation led to a court-issued arrest warrant in June for a VW official in connection to last year’s fuel emission cheating scandal.

The possibility that France-based Renault could be tied into the diesel fuel emission scandal comes a day after the German state of Bavaria announced it was suing VW for damages caused by the scandal.

Bavaria has had its financial well being laid low by the VW scandal. The state’s pension fund lost as much as $783,580 after VW’s shares toppled following revelations the company had been placing so-called defeat devices on diesel vehicles to cheat fuel emission tests.

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