Christophe Leguevaques, a lawyer involved in the lawsuit against Renault and Nissan, said the joint legal action represented complaints from about 1,100 people. The complaint involves the automakers’ 1.2-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine that was used in hundreds of thousands of Renault, Nissan, Dacia and Mercedes-Benz models from 2012-18.
The case was assigned to a judge in France on Tuesday.
Renault said that while the engines did have some technical problems, they never represented any safety risks. Renault added it would examine paying compensation to cutomers over the issue on a case-by-case basis.
"In the first instance, we encourage customers who believe they may be affected by this issue to contact their local Nissan dealership who will inspect and diagnose the vehicle appropriately and provide the necessary support," added Nissan in a statement.
Owners have complained of overconsumption of oil linked to a fault in the piston rings.
Other reported problems include timing-chain stretch and exhaust valve failure. Affected models include the Renault Clio, Megane, Scenic, Captur and Kangoo; the Dacia Duster, Dokker and Lodgy; the Mercedes Citan and Nissan Qashqai.
Reuters contributed to this report