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Economy

Renault confirms French fraud squad raids in emissions inquiry

media Renault boss Carlos Ghosn Reuters/Gary Cameron

French carmaker Renault has admitted that anti-fraud detectives raided three of its sites last week to check on possible engine-rigging to dodge pollution controls. Renault shares fell 20 per cent on the Paris bourse when unions broke news of the raids but the company claimed that tests had found no evidence of trickery.

Investigators from the DGCCRF fraud squad raided several sites last Thursday, Renault admitted after a leaflet by the CGT union gave details of the raids and

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suggested they were "linked to the consequences of the Volkswagen rigged-engines affair".

Personal computers belonging to several directors were seized, the union said.

Representatives of another union, the CFDT, said they had asked management about the raids on Wednesday but received no answer.

Renault shares slumped as news of the union claim spread and shares in the rest of the automobile sector, notably those of PSA Peugeot-Citroën, followed.

Later in the day Renault confirmed that the raids had taken place as part of an investigation into French carmakers ordered by Environment Minister Ségolène Royal following last year's revelations that Volkswagen had rigged engines to dodge emissions controls in the US.

But it said that the ministry had concluded that the tests seemed to find no evidence of rigging software.

Renault pledged last month to invest 50 million euros to bring its cars' real emissions in line with those measured in official test conditions.

Peugeot, whose share value fell seven per cent on Thursday, announced that there had been no fraud raids on its facilities and said government tests had found no problems.

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