Request for a preliminary ruling from the Juge d’instruction du tribunal de grande instance de Paris (France) lodged on 29 October 2018 — Procureur de la République v X

(Case C-693/18)

Language of the case: French

Referring court

Juge d’instruction du tribunal de grande instance de Paris

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: Procureur de la République

Defendant: X

Other parties: Parties claiming damages

Questions referred

1.    Interpretation of the concept of ‘design’

1(1):    What is covered by the concept of ‘element of design’ in Article 3.10 of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007, 1 which defines ‘defeat device’?

1(2):    May a program integrated in the engine control calculator or more generally acting on that calculator be considered to be an element of design within the meaning of that article?

2.    Interpretation of the concept of ‘emission control system’

2(1):    What is covered by the concept of ‘emission control system’ in Article 3.10 of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007, which defines ‘defeat device’?

2(2):    Does this emission control system include only the technologies and strategies aimed at treating and reducing emissions (in particular of NOx) after they have been created, or does it also incorporate the different technologies and strategies that enable the initial production of emissions to be limited, such as EGR technology?

3.    Interpretation of the concept of ‘defeat device’

3(1):    Is a device that detects any parameter connected with the conduct of the approval procedures provided for in Regulation (EC) No 715/2007, for the purposes of activating or adjusting upwards, during those procedures, the operation of any part of the emission control system, and thus obtaining approval of the vehicle, a ‘defeat device’ within the meaning of Article 3.10 of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007?

3(2):    If so, is that defeat device prohibited under Article 5(2) of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007?

3(3):    May a device as described in Question 3(1) be characterised as a ‘defeat device’ if the upwards adjustment of the activation of the emission control system is effective, not only during the approval procedures, but also on specific occasions when the precise conditions detected for the purpose of adjusting the emission control system upwards during those approval procedures are encountered in actual traffic?

4.    Interpretation of the exceptions provided for in Article 5

4(1):    What is covered by the three exceptions provided for in Article 5(2) in Chapter 2 of Regulation (EC) No 715/2007?

4(2):    Might the prohibition of the defeat device activating or adjusting upwards the operation of any part of the emission control system specifically during the approval procedures be disregarded for one of the three reasons listed in Article 5(2)?

4(3):    Is slowing down the aging or the clogging-up of the engine among the requirements of ‘protecting the engine against damage or accident’ or of ‘safe operation of the vehicle’ that may justify the presence of a defeat device within the meaning of Article 5(2)(a)?

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1     Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 on type approval of motor vehicles with respect to emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and Euro 6) and on access to vehicle repair and maintenance information (OJ 2007 L 171, p. 1).