Updated: Renault denies that the Espace fails to comply with the regulations and ensures that the tests carried out by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe is not welcome to eu homologation standards.
sometimes I think that the biggest mistake of Volkswagen has not been to commit a fraud, but try to believe that in the united States would go unnoticed. How else would I have come to know the presence in Volkswagen of a defeat device, which even is recognized as such in the protocols europeans, had it not been for having marketed their diesel in the united States? What is Volkswagen the only brand that has used these techniques to adulterate its approval of emissions? This is probably a view somewhat exaggerated of the matter. Without evidence no one can extend the problem to other manufacturers. In any case, the honesty of the auto industry – in full – has been questioned. Which is why, perhaps, the Renault Espace is now faced with the unknowns posed by the results of a study conducted by the Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH).
The Deutsche Umwelthilfe is an NGO German focused on the protection of the environment, that it is proposed to measure the NOx emissions of the new Renault Espace (as already done above with the Opel Zafira), in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences of Bern.
His study would be that, in certain conditions, the emissions of the Renault Espace would exceed up to 25 times the limits of legal NOx emissions imposed by european regulations (Automotive News). So, according to that same study, the only situation in which it would have complied with the maximum of 80 milligrams per kilometer would have been with the cold start, and after a phase of pre-conditioning (Reuters).
The conclusion that extracts the DUH of these results lies in the fact that, apparently, the behavior of the car in the conditions of approval, in the cold, is different from the behavior of the car in real conditions (see study of the DUH). And that, as a result, its emissions during the type approval are different to the real ones. To get some more realistic results, DUH carried out the tests, cold and hot, and banks of rollers for movement in two-and four-wheel – (i.e., with a roller in movement in the rear axle to emulate the filming of the car on an actual road).
The response of Renault has been practically the same as that already given in his day Opel with a study very similar to this. Opel ruled out irregularities, acknowledged not to have found problems in replicating the tests, also on banks of rollers for movement on two and four wheels, and regretted that the DUH would not have provided greater assistance and information to unravel the mystery.
Meanwhile, Germany also has proposed a more comprehensive analysis of type approval emissions of more than 50 cars, of 23 different brands, German and foreign. The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) has already announced some days ago that it is very likely that they identify irregularities in other manufacturers beyond that of the Volkswagen Group. The Renault Espace would not be among the models analyzed, but the Renault Kadjar, as well as the Opel Zafira on which the DUH raised doubts.
We, for our part, we continue to think that the problem, beyond the fact that Volkswagen has recognized use techniques considered illegal in the united States, is in the amount of loopholes that leaves the methodology of european approval now. And much we fear that the only solution facing the industry, and the rulers, is to minimize these loopholes, ensuring that the approval process really responding to the real conditions of driving and to ensure, in any case, that all manufacturers comply with the rules of the game.