Renault denies the government's accusations.

The French government has accused Renault of building diesel-powered cars that don't comply with emissions regulations. Officials launched an investigation into the brand yesterday.

Details about the allegations are still few and far between. The government simply stated that many new and late-model Renault cars are a public health hazard because they emit more nitrogen oxide (NOx) than they are legally allowed to in France, and in the European Union.

A list of affected models hasn't been published yet, but the probe is believed to focus on the dCi turbodiesel engine that powers numerous members of the company's lineup. Variations of the four-cylinder are also found in millions of Dacia-, Nissan-, and even Mercedes-Benz-badged cars in Europe. It goes without saying that none of the affected cars are registered in the United States.

Renault flatly denied the accusations. The company stresses all of its cars have always complied with emissions regulations, and it emphasizes that it has never built an engine with an emissions defeat device.

Executives from the Paris-based automaker are cooperating with government officials. Renault will face fines if it is found guilty of building non-compliant cars.

The news comes just a few days after the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) accused Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) of selling a 3.0-liter V6 engine that emits too much NOx. Like Renault, FCA denied any wrongdoing.

Note: 2016 Renault Scenic pictured. Photo by Ronan Glon.