No vans involved in Renault vehicle recall

No vans are involved in a recall of 15,000 Renault vehicles the French manufacturer has announced as a result of recent concerns over their emission levels, a spokesman for the company has told Commercialmotor.com.

The recall, which applies to vehicles fitted with the dCi 110 engine, “seeks to address an error in the engine’s calibration unit” which leads to the diesel particulate filter (DPF) not being regenerated as it should be, he said.

While the dCi 110 engine is used in Renault’s Kangoo range, the way it has been calibrated in that vehicle means there is no need for modification, he said.

The issue with the dCi 110 engine has been known about for some time and corrected in new production vehicles since last September, added the spokesman.

There is no suggestion that Renault is sliding into an emissions scandal of the kind Volkswagen has been embroiled in since September. “Renault Group vehicles are not equipped with fraudulent software or systems designed to bypass the emission control system,” stressed the spokesman.

The error in programming had nothing to do with vehicles’ performance in emissions tests, only affecting them in actual day-to-day use, he continued.

Earlier this month, Renault Group hit the headlines after investigators carried out raids on three of its sites in France in mid-January. The firm said these had taken place as part of an inquiry by an independent technical commission put in place by the French government to measure and analyse the vehicle emissions of all car manufacturers in the wake of the VW scandal.

Renault had co-operated and would continue to co-operate fully with any investigations by the authorities, said the spokesman.

A statement by the French energy ministry on 14 January said the independent commission’s early investigations had confirmed the existence of fraudulent software on two VW vehicles but not found any such software on other makes - though it had found a number of vehicles in which CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions were beyond accepted standards, including vehicles from “several foreign manufacturers and one French manufacturer”.

Renault has voiced support for the introduction of new European procedures to make published fuel economy figures more representative of real-world driving conditions and late last year announced a new €50m “emissions plan” to develop emissions improvements in future vehicles.

60-second interview: Chris Berridge, MD Paneltex

60-second interview: Chris Berridge, MD Paneltex

Favourite holiday destination and why?
The Yorkshire Dales because of the beautiful countryside and walking, fresh air and lovely people.

What car do you drive?
Currently a Land Rover Discovery Sport as an every-day car but I always prefer to drive a vintage Austin 7 whenever possible.

Hobbies?
Restoring and driving veteran and vintage cars, DIY building and for the last few months turning our barn into a wedding venue for our daughter.

How did you get into the industry and why?
I joined Unilever as an Engineering Graduate Trainee in 1981 and three years later this led to a temporary placement in their truck body building division. I liked the industry and products and I’ve always wanted to make things so the decision to set up Paneltex a few years later seemed logical to me.

How would you encourage more young people into the industry?
Our side of the transport industry is manufacturing bodywork so my answer is to encourage a passion in young people at an early age for making things, and making them well. Apprenticeships - and I mean proper ones - are a great way of doing this and hopefully imparting skills that will last a lifetime.

What will be the outlook for your sector of the market in 2016?
We continue to experience strong demand for products, pretty much across our entire range, so we are expecting 2016, which incidentally is our silver jubilee year, to be very busy.