Renault Stock Plunges as Anti-fraud Raids Spark Emission Fears

Published: 14th January 2016 11:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th January 2016 11:34 PM   |  A+A-


PARIS: Shares in Renault suffered a meltdown on the Paris stock exchange today after anti-fraud detectives raided sites of the carmaker in an apparent emissions probe.

Union leaders, who first reported the raids, said the searches may be linked to suspicions of emissions foul play,  raising fears that an ongoing Volkswagen pollution scandal was spreading to neighbouring France.

But Renault, while confirming there had been searches, said that no cheating devices had been found in diesel engine tests which had earlier been commissioned by Environment Minister Segolene Royal. "The news triggered a massive selling movement, it's a disaster that's pulling everybody down," said one Paris-based analyst, referring to plunging auto stocks across Europe.

At around 1500 GMT, Renault shares were trading nine  percent lower at 78.86 euros, having earlier slumped as low as 67 euros, a drop of over 20 percent -- at that point wiping over 4 billion euros (USD 4.4 billion) off the company's value "which is colossal", the analyst said.

Early today, unions reported that French anti-fraud  detectives had last week raided several production sites ofRenault, possibly to search for any indication of software meant to help cars cheat when undergoing tests for pollution emissions, as Volkswagen has admitting 11 million diesel vehicles.

 "Agents from the (anti-fraud unit) DGCCRF intervened in various Renault sites last Thursday," the CGT Renault union said in a tract.

The probe targeted the sites' engine control units which suggests, the union said, that the raids "are linked to the consequences of the Volkswagen rigged-engines affair".

Detectives took several personal computers belonging to Renault managers, the unions said. 

But Renault played down the raids, saying they were part of a probe by the DGCCRF aimed "to confirm definitively the initial analysis conducted" at the behest of Royal and which had "not shown evidence of illegal cheating software on Renault vehicles."

At the time of the stock exchange debacle, the Royal commission was presenting its conclusions after tests on 100  car models to the minister.

French rival Peugeot, France's biggest car maker whose  shares also plunged, quickly released a statement saying it had not been the target of any anti-fraud raids, adding that similar government tests had resulted in the "absence of any anomaly" in car emissions.

Peugeot shares subsequently came off their lows, trading 3.3 percent down at 14.26 euros, off an earlier 13.33 low. The Renault news weighed on auto stocks across Europe, with BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen all falling more than five percent at one point.

Volkswagen is facing possible fines that could reach into the tens of billions of dollars in the United States alone over the scandal, and faces probes in other countries as well.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp