TOKYO -- Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn believes that Volkswagen Group's diesel-emissions scandal has forced all automakers to investigate whether something similar would be possible at their companies.
"I am certain that every single carmaker has spent time auditing their own powertrain and engines to make sure no one is playing games like this," Ghosn said.
After VW admitted installing software that can fool pollution tests in up to 11 million diesel engines sold worldwide, Renault-Nissan took a closer look at its internal processes and procedures.
"We checked everything,” Ghosn told reporters here Tuesday on the eve of the Tokyo auto show's press day.
"We not only determined that we didn't have this problem but we also said 'How can we avoid this from happening in the future. That nobody will be in a situation where he could be tempted to do something like this."
Last month Ghosn said it would be difficult for an automaker to conceal internally an effort to falsify vehicle emissions data, such as has happened at VW.
Emission tests fears
On Tuesday, Ghosn also backed calls by EU automakers and governments such as Germany for a longer phase-in period for RDE (real driving emissions) tests.
The European Commission wants to introduce testing for pollutants such as NOx in real driving conditions starting September 2017, while allowing emissions to exceed permissible discharges by as much as 60 percent for a further two years until September 2019.
ACEA, the European automakers association, wants a longer phase-in period or, it says, diesel vehicles will become so expensive that automakers will have to stop selling them.
Ghosn, who is also ACEA president, said that he and the other ACEA members agree that RDE tests should be introduced -- as long as regulation is not so tough that sales of diesel cars are harmed.
"What we don't want is the RDE to be so severe that it kills a technology because then the consumer has absolutely no benefit,” Ghosn said. “You want to maintain competing technologies because that is the only way that you are going to get better cars with lower emissions.”