BERLIN (Reuters) -- Renault disputes test results showing NOx emissions from its Espace 1.6-liter diesel variant were up to 25 times higher than allowed under Euro 6 limits.
"As previously stated, Renault reiterates that Espace complies with applicable regulations, just as all its vehicles," the automaker said in a release today.
German environmental lobby group Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) said in a report today that excess emission levels for the Renault Espace diesel were detected under new European testing cycles (NEFZ) in five separate tests with a warm engine carried out by the University of Applied Sciences in Bern, Switzerland.
Renault said the test procedures used by the university "are not all compliant with European regulations. The report shows important variations in test findings which are not conclusive and require 'additional measurements'."
The automaker added that it wants to learn more about the tests, especially since Germany's ADAC tested the Espace earlier this year "and concluded that it complied with regulations."
The DUH report comes as carmakers come under particular scrutiny for their emissions levels in the wake of the scandal at Volkswagen Group.
DUH called for a reform of Europe's system to approve vehicles, which has come under fire for giving that authority to national authorities suspected by critics of being too close to manufacturers.
"It is unbelievable that so-called modern diesel vehicles that damage the air we breathe in this way are on the road today," campaigner Axel Friedrich said in the DUH statement.
Friedrich is a co-founder and council member of the Washington-based International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), which commissioned the original investigation that led eventually to the exposure of VW's test-rigging.
Europe needs a "comprehensive reorganization of the system in which mandatory regular controls on the street are integrated", he said.
The ICCT has called for tests to be carried out on vehicles in use rather than on cars specially prepared by manufacturers in real-world conditions as well as in laboratories.
Volkswagen admitted in September to cheating U.S. diesel emissions tests, sparking a scandal that has affected up to 11 million VW diesel vehicles worldwide, forced a reshuffle of senior management and will likely cost the group tens of billions of euros.