Earlier today, the government of South Korea announced that it would order Nissan “to recall hundreds of its diesel-powered … sports utility vehicles,” following an impending investigation into potentially rigged emissions tests. The Ministry of Environment released a statement stating that the “the Japanese auto maker had used a defeat device that allows the SUV to clear stringent diesel emissions tests but helps turn off the vehicle’s emissions management system during actual driving conditions.” This comes after very similar allegations have been charged to VW this past month.
When addressing the situation, Dion Corbett, a spokesman for Nissan, denied the claims explicitly stating that “Nissan has not and does not employ illegal defeat or cheat devices in any of the cars that we make.” Mr. Corbett’s side of the story is strengthened by the fact that “EU authorities have concluded that Nissan vehicles they (the EU) tested used no illegal defeat devices.”
The fault may in fact lie with the manufacturer of the diesel engines inside the car, Renault SA. Earlier this year Renault recalled “more than 15,000 diesel vehicles to repair emissions-control systems” after a emissions probe launched by the French antifraud officials. Another cause for this investigation could be the recent large investment of Nissan in Mitsubishi Motor Corp, “which in April admitted to falsifying (emissions) data.” This is especially relevant after it was found out that two of the models for which the data had been embellished were manufactured by Mitsubishi but sold under Nissan’s brand name.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and to see how other governments will increase awareness and improve testing strategies to prevent these falsehoods in the market.
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