December 17, 2015 / 10:20 PM / 2 years ago

Renault to step up R&D in cleaner cars after VW scandal

The logo of Renault is displayed from the ceiling of an exhibition hall during the Brussels International Auto Show January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman

PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA) said on Thursday it would accelerate the development of cleaner diesel vehicles in response to the Volkswagen emissions-cheating scandal.

Small diesel cars, which have been helped by tax breaks in countries like France, currently account for about 60 percent of European sales by Renault (RENA.PA), making the French carmaker and its domestic rival Peugeot particularly vulnerable to the backlash against diesel.

Volkswagen admitted in September to rigging U.S. diesel emissions tests, unleashing a scandal that forced out longstanding CEO Martin Winterkorn and may cost the group as much as 40 billion euros ($43 billion) in recall costs, fines and compensation, some analysts estimate.

Reporting by Michel Rose

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