Nissan used defeat device in Qashqai, court rules as PSA referred to French prosecutors

February 13, 2017

A South Korean court has upheld government accusations against Nissan that the carmaker used an emissions defeat device in its best-selling Qashqai SUV. 

The ruling is a blow for Nissan which hoped to clear itself in the only country that has accused it of emissions cheating. 

The Seoul Administrative Court ruling on Thursday said it believed Nissan used a defeat device to deactivate its emissions reduction system when the Qashqai underwent regular driving, resulting in excessive emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), toxic to human health. 

Nissan said the ruling was ‘regrettable’, adding: ‘There is no change to our stance that we have not used any illegal devices in our vehicles.’ 

South Korea’s environment ministry halted sales of the Qashqai in the country last year, recalling 814 vehicles. The Qashqai models were produced at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland in the UK. Crucially, the 1.6-litre diesel engines are supplied by Nissan alliance partner Renault and are also used in Renault's own models – potentially opening the door to wider fines and recalls. 

Meanwhile, in what may be the final straw for current diesel technology, PSA Group has been referred to French prosecutors and accused of emissions cheating. This is despite its Euro 6 diesels having costly selective catalytic reduction (SCR) as standard, which makes their vehicles much cleaner than many mass-market rivals – but perhaps still not enough. 

PSA Group engineering chief Gilles Le Borgne said: ‘We are extremely surprised, even shocked by this decision.’ 

PSA Group is the fourth carmaker to be referred for possible prosecution by France’s consumer fraud agency, after Volkswagen, Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which was referred only last Monday. It is a blow for the French OEM as their diesel technology had so far escaped any serious criticism following the Volkswagen emissions scandal. 

Le Borgne said: ‘We don’t know what more we could have done.’ 

Also in News & Insights

UPDATE: News & Insights have moved to the Autovista Group website

March 31, 2017

Our regular automotive industry News & Insights are no longer being published on the Autovista Group Market Reports website.

Instead, you can now find the latest updates at our central Autovista Group website, home to our pan-European brands including Autovista, Eurotax, Glass's and Schwacke.

To stay up to date with rapidly changing market trends, we recommend signing up to our free Autovista Group Daily Brief which delivers our daily news stories directly to your inbox.

You can still find our in depth market reports here on the Autovista Group Market Reports site. Keep checking back as we have an exciting new report due to be launched shortly!

PSA to boost UK presence in the event of a ‘hard Brexit'

March 08, 2017

UK sales flat despite upcoming road tax hike, diesel demand plummets

March 08, 2017

UK new car registrations fell annually by 0.3% in February to 83,115 units according to the SMMT, driven down by weaker demand from individuals and companies. More noticeable, however, was the 9.2% drop in demand for diesels compared to February 2016, a steeper drop than the decline in Germany...