Nissan 'strongly refutes' claims Sunderland-made Qashqais have been fitted with emission-breaching devices
Nissan has hit back at claims that up to 100,000 petrol Qashqai cars and other diesel vehicles could be fitted with prohibited “defeat devices”
Law firm Harcus Parker said it has obtained documents which show the 1.2-litre petrol Qashqais breach emissions limits by up to 15 times when driven on the road.
The Qashqai, built at Nissan's Sunderland plant, is the UK’s biggest-selling family petrol car.
Lawyers also allege they have seen independent test data indicating that as many as 1.3 million diesel vehicles manufactured by Nissan and Renault may also be fitted with devices designed to cheat emissions tests.
But a Nissan spokesman said: “Nissan strongly refutes these claims.
“Nissan has not and does not employ defeat devices in any of the cars that we make, and all Nissan vehicles fully comply with applicable emissions legislation.
“The initial report from 2017, which looked at the variation between lab and real-world conditions, showed variances for most brands involved.
“It also stated that the Nissan tested complied with all required regulatory limits.
“Emissions standards have evolved since 2017, and we have introduced a new range of powertrains to meet them.”
The scandal around defeat devices has previously been focused on diesel models.
Damon Parker, senior partner at Harcus Parker, which is launching legal action, said it had written to Renault and Nissan to seek an explanation for these results.
Harcus Parker also claimed owners of affected cars are entitled to compensation worth around £5,000 each.
Renault said in a statement: “All Groupe Renault vehicles are, and always have been, type-approved in accordance with the laws and regulations for all the countries in which they are sold and are not fitted with ‘defeat devices’.”
The so-called “dieselgate” emissions scandal first surfaced against Volkswagen in September 2015.
The manufacturer admitted that 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide were affected, including almost 1.2 million in the UK, prompting a flurry of litigation.
In April, the High Court ruled that software installed by Volkswagen was a “defeat device”.
It emerged earlier this month that more than 10,000 Mercedes customers have signed up to a possible legal challenge relating to the alleged use of similar technology.