In an odd role reversal of the status quo, China has announced the halt of import of four Renault models on the back of ‘serious safety risks’ and non-compliance with regulations.
The Renault models affected include the Laguna, Scenic, Megane and Megane Coupe-Cabriolet – what are Renault’s most successful global models. The decision was reached by the lengthy-named General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).
“W]e have repeatedly found batches of passenger vehicles made by the French Renault … do not conform with our country’s mandatory standards and relevant technical regulations, and there are serious safety risks,” AQSIQ said in a statement.
The Chinese government’s decision is strange to say the least particularly when Chinese made vehicles like the Brillance BS4 have very little in the way of genuine safety. The BS4 recently scored zero stars in Euro NCAP testing. In contrast, the Renault Megane, Megane CC, Laguna and Scenic all achieved 5 stars in EuroNCAP testing.
The fact is that China is now the largest car market in the world and the banning of these Renault models will hurt the French manufacturer. In some opinions this is the first step in China trying to protect their domestic carmakers against the strong competition coming from Europe.
Renault hasn’t yet issued a formal response, with a spokesman saying only that the company was ‘surprised’ by the decision, and that it has plenty of evidence of the quality of its models in the form of independent press reviews and testing.
An economical yet torquey diesel engine coupled to a six speed automatic transmission is the cornerstone of the Renault Laguna Wagon which is being launched in New Zealand.
It is the only model of the mid-sized French car available at launch, boasting a comprehensive specification, with one of the highest five star European NCAP crash testing safety ratings, four star child occupant protection and a combined cycle fuel consumption of just 7.1 litres/100 kms.
The Laguna Wagon 2.0 dCi Auto will provide an alternative for executive car buyers who don’t want a Japanese brand and who cannot justify the extra expense of a German marque. The motor’s maximum torque of 340 Nm arrives at just 2000 rpm, making it ideal for over taking on the open road and pulling strongly up hills, or idling around town in stop — start city traffic. A particulate filter is standard. Servicing is only required annually or every 20,000km.
The motor has CO2 emission of only 188 grams per kilometre. It is priced at $54,990.