French carmaker Renault says fraud investigators inspected three of its sites to look into its vehicle emissions technology, news that wiped billions off its market value in an echo of the scandal engulfing German rival Volkswagen. Joel Flynn reports.
If there's one key thing missing from the autos sector right now, it's trust. Renault the latest to feel that pain - it's shares falling 23 percent in the wake of revelations that fraud investigators had inspected three of its sites last week. That wiped five billion euros off the French carmaker's value. Shares subsequently recovered half those losses as Renault said the probe found "no evidence of a defeat device". Volkswagen was not able to say the same thing in light of U.S. investigation. Olaf Storbeck is from Reuters Breakingviews. SOUNDBITE: Reuters Breakingviews columnist, Olaf Storbeck, saying (English): "Regulators all across Europe and the States are taking a close look now at the laboratory results, how they compare to real driver emissions test, which at the moment are not legally binding, not legally required in Europe, and this will be a thing that the industry has to deal with for a very long time." Volkswagen is facing billions of dollars in claims from its car owners. The European Investment Bank earlier suspending new loans to the carmaker pending its own investigation. U.S. environmental officials have said they're still talks with VW on finding a fix for nearly 600,000 illegal vehicles. SOUNDBITE: Reuters Breakingviews columnist, Olaf Storbeck, saying (English): "French rival Peugoet has shown a potential way out of this quagmire, they have committed to publish real drive emissions a few weeks ago, in a process which will be overseen by an environmental campaign group." A bad day for the European car sector index - hit too after Fiat Chrysler shares fell nearly 10 percent in Milan. That followed a report of a lawsuit accusing the carmaker of inflating its U.S. sales.