The South Korean authorities accused Nissan of using emissions cheating devices on its Qashqai diesel crossovers and thus proposed fines and recalls.
Even if Nissan was the one responsible for uncovering Mitsubishi’s fuel-consumption ratings manipulation, the automaker headed by Carlos Ghosn does not seem to be completely innocent either and recent disclosures about its practices are at least as serious as those concerning Mitsubishi. More precisely, Nissan is being accused by South Korea’s environment ministry of taking a similar detour-path as Volkswagen, as he recently said the company had used an emissions bypass device on Qashqai crossover Euro 6 diesel to deactivate its exhaust reduction system under regular driving temperature. The ministry plans to fine Nissan 330 million won (254,700 dollars), to recall 814 new Qashqais sold in the country so far, and also to file a complaint against the head of automaker’s local operations.
After the United States, South Korea was the second country which fined Volkswagen over its cheating trick and it decided to conduct its own tests on several diesel models sold in the country. Nissan promptly responded to the claims by issuing a statement in which it fiercely denied using an illegal device in any of the cars it manufactured. It also said that the tests, which were made using similar methods to European Union regulators, found that Nissan did not use a defeat device.
But it is known that such standard tests are not suited to uncover emissions irregularities and many automakers are using software tricks. The German regulators have recently summoned Fiat and Opel to appear in front of an investigative committee following media reports about suspected emissions rigging. For example, the Bild am Sonntag weekly reported that the emissions management system on an unspecified Fiat model was cut after 22 minutes, an indication that an “outlawed” device is used to avoid emissions cleaning filters, as regulatory tests are usually performed for around 20 minutes.