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Renault cars have ‘severe defect’, says consumer group

More than 400,000 vehicles manufactured by car firm Renault have a serious defect that could lead to breakdowns and repairs of up to €10,000, French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir has said.

The association published the “alert” this week, and said that problems could extend not only to Renault-branded cars, but also to those with the brand names Dacia, Mercedes, or Nissan.

The cars concerned were manufactured by Renault between the end of 2012 and mid-2016, and the consumer association said that they all have a tendency to “consume too much oil”.

This could lead to “damage of the exhaust valves” and “engine failure”, it said, and estimated that the problem could cost vehicle owners up to €10,000 each.

In a press release this week, it said: “UFC-Que Choisir alerts consumer owners of the vehicles Renault, Dacia, Nissan and Mercedes, with a petrol engine of the 1.2 TCe and 1.2 DI-t series Euro 5 to type H5 - of a serious defect that could affect their vehicle.”

On its website, the group identified all models of car that it said were concerned, and offered further advice on what to do if you believe your car could be affected - including taking it to a branded garage for a service.

The four other brands could also be involved due to their manufacturing links with Renault, UFC-Choisir said. Dacia is a subsidiary of Renault, and Nissan is its Japanese partner. There are also links between the French car giant and Mercedes parent company Daimler.

UFC-Que Choisir accused Renault of a “deafening silence” in responding to the issue, despite - the association said - its sending of an internal notice on the problem to the brand’s garages in 2018.

Yet, a release from Renault to the Agence France-Presse denied that it had received any notice from the consumer group in 2018 or since.

The release read: “All of our vehicles with a TCe A.2 motor are not affected by this issue. In fact, over-consumption of motor oil can come from different causes - lubricants, user conditions…”

It reminded customers that “compliance with the [Renault] maintenance programme is required for any car service by a commercial partner [garage]”.

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