London (AFP)

A lawsuit could be launched in the United Kingdom against the car manufacturers Nissan and Renault, suspected of having installed in petrol and diesel cars software making it possible to circumvent the tests on the polluting emissions.

This case, which recalls Volkswagen Dieselgate, concerns up to 1.4 million vehicles, said in a statement Tuesday the London law firm Harcus Parker, which incriminates the Renault-Nissan alliance.

Harcus Parker is asking the affected customers to come forward, but has yet to file a formal complaint in court, a spokesperson said.

The law firm says it obtained documents showing that 100,000 Nissan Qashqai petrol, one of the best-selling cars in the UK, had emissions 15 times higher than normal on the road.

He adds that he had access to independent data according to which 1.3 million diesel vehicles manufactured by Renault and Nissan are equipped with "fake software", which are prohibited.

Nissan for its part strongly contested these accusations.

"Nissan has not used and does not use fake software in the cars we make and all (our) vehicles are fully compliant with emission laws," said the Japanese automaker.

Harcus Parker estimates that consumers have therefore paid too high a price to acquire their car and should get compensation of 5,000 pounds each.

"For the first time, we have seen evidence that automakers have been able to defeat gasoline and diesel vehicle emissions testing," said Damon Parker, partner at Harcus Parker.

"These are vehicles that could and should comply with European air quality rules but rather than spending more on research and development, Renault and Nissan seem to have taken the same path as Volkswagen and Mercedes and have decided to foil the tests, "he said.

The law firm refers to a legal action it is working against Mercedes on the possible use of fake software.

British justice has in turn ruled in early April tens of thousands of motorists who sued Volkswagen and considered themselves injured by the scandal of engine rigging.

It must now decide what compensation the complainants will be entitled to.

The "dieselgate" has already cost the world's largest manufacturer more than 30 billion euros, most of which is in the United States.

© 2020 AFP