Renault accused of inherent failure on 1.2 TCe engine
French consumer association UFC-Que choisir rings the bell about an issue of oil overconsumption inherent to Renault’s 1.2 TCe engine. It could lead to total engine failure. 600.000 cars could be impacted. The association accuses Renault of downplaying the issue.
“I’ve never seen that in ten years. Premature use in 100% of cases and huge failure rates as soon as the engine reaches 60.000 km”, explains a mechanic shop owner. The engine in question: Renault’s H5FT, known as the 1.2 TCe in Renaults and Dacias, and 1.2 DIG-T in Nissans.
Built in Valladolid, Spain, by Renault between 2012 and 2016 (Euro 5), this engine presents an inherent design flaw resulting in some cases in an overconsumption of oil. This presents a high risk of exhaust valve failure, which could, in turn, lead to a total engine loss.
Many automobile repair specialists and shop owners interrogated by the French newspaper Le Monde confirmed the allegations. So much so that consumer association, UFC-Que choisir, has decided to put Renault under formal notice last Friday, May 24.
This way it alerts all owners of Renault, Nissan, Dacia and Mercedes-Benz (Citan, Kangoo van derivative) equipped with the H5FT engine.
According to AAA Data cabinet, 340.000 cars equipped with this specific engine have been registered in France between 2012 and 2018, of which around 160.000 for the period corresponding to Euro 5 emission standard (until mid-2016).
But the issue isn’t only present in France. By extrapolating the numbers, more than 600.000 H5FT Euro 5 engines could be concerned.
According to the association, the worst part is that Renault knew about the issue, but nothing substantial was done. In an internal document from 2015, the carmaker signals the issue to its network.
“Overconsumption of oil could be created by an inadequate adjustment of the injection computer”, reads the memo. Renault asks its dealers to recalibrate the injection without replacing any part and suggests informing the consumer that “above-average oil consumption is normal”.
The confidential note puts the issue on a K1 level (more than 600.000 potential cases). It also informs about a failure rate increasing from 0,04% at 50.000 km to 2% after 100.000 km.
No recall yet
“All our cars equipped with the TCe A.2 engine aren’t concerned with this character”, responds Renault to the AFP. “Indeed, overconsumption of oil can come from different sources: lubricant type, car’s usage, etc. In any case, the respect of the maintenance program is (…) preliminary to the examination of any commercial support”, adds the carmaker.
“We’re asking for honesty and transparency on the part of the manufacturers involved. All they have to do is to contact owners and organise a recall program”, explains Raphael Bartlomé, Head of Legal at UFC- Que choisir. The association estimates that this inherent issue could cost the owners up to 10.000 euro.