The findings were the result of a Swiss-run test by German emissions group DUH - amusing acronym there - that have yet to be independently verified. However, should their measurements prove accurate, could implicate not only Renault, but open the floodgates for the mass testing of the many diesel engines from a bevy of global manufacturers.
The tests carried out by the DUH group contradict the EU tests carried out prior to the Renault Espace’s launch. Purportedly, those EU tests were conducted during unrealistically low engine temperatures. When the engines were at warmer or typical operating temperatures, the emission levels are alleged to increase substantially.
DUH claims that an Espace with a 1.6-litre diesel engine running on the latest Euro 6 diesel had emitted up to 2.06 grams of NOx (nitrogen oxides) per kilometre, more than 25 times above the EU limit.
What happens if - and this is a big IF - a large number of tests lead to the majority of modern diesel engines producing toxic pollutants, either in gross violation or inaccurate by small margins, outside of regulatory standards?
A development such as that could permanently vilify diesel engines and the already eroding perception of it as the frugal and more environmentally sound option will be damaged irrevocably.
At the time of writing, Renault has yet to make an official statement on the Espace’s emissions claims being called into question but said it disputes the findings of the DUH lobby group.