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Is Renault facing its own emissions scandal? (updated)

Reports claim the firm was raided by anti-fraud authorities on suspicion of emissions foul play.

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An AFP report, syndicated by The Telegraph, claims that Renault could be facing a Volkswagen-style emissions scandal of its very own. Representatives from the CGT Renault union are claiming that the French car maker's offices were raided by the nation's anti-fraud office last week. The suggestion is that authorities from the agency were interested in the engine control units that are fitted to certain cars. In addition, the personal computers of several directors were seized. Naturally, this news has had a disastrous effect on Renault's share price, with Bloomberg reporting that the potential scandal has caused a fall of 20 percent.

At this moment, details are tremendously thin on the ground and neither Renault nor the French bureau that carried out the raid is responding to questions. It's believed, however, that the authorities specifically raided Renault's facilities that had to do with standards testing and environmental certification. We have sent our own questions to both parties in the hope of getting something meatier than your standard "no comment." It's probably a long shot, but we'll update this story as soon as we know more.

Update: Renault has posted an official statement concerning the raid on its offices by agents of DGCCRF. The company says that it's been working with France's various regulatory bodies to ensure that it does not install emissions-cheating devices into its cars. It says that the nation's environmental agency already believes that the "procedure would not reveal the presence of a defeat device on Renault's vehicles." In addition, the visit by the anti-fraud office was simply to "definitively confirm the first findings resulting from the analysis of the independent technical commission." Which, we guess, means that it's back to business as usual at Renault -- although we'd like to hear this from the people at the regulators as well, just to be sure.

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