French prosecutors open full PSA emissions investigations

25 April 2017

25 April 2017

Following receipt of a report by the DGCCRF, the anti-fraud body of the Economic Ministry, French prosecutors formally opened a probe into possible emissions cheating by the PSA Group (Peugeot Citroën) on 7 April. Prosecutors claim that stronger indications that PSA falsified readings in laboratory conditions and that their products could be ′dangerous for human or animal healthprompted this development. 

This follows a referral of the PSA Group to prosecutors in February. Similar investigations into Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), that were launched in January and March respectively, are ongoing. 

The formal investigation will come as a major blow to PSA, whose Euro 6-compliant diesel vehicles are typically cleaner than those offered by rivals as they have costly selective catalytic reduction (SCR) fitted as standard. PSA also took an unprecedented confident step back in October 2016 by publishing its real world fuel economy figures in advance of proposed European Union real driving emissions (RDE) regulations. 

In the wake of the launch of the formal investigation, PSA reiterated on Monday its denial of any wrongdoing. A spokesman said that PSA will ′defend its interests’ and that it respects regulations in all countries where it operates. The spokesman added that, unlike Volkswagen, the carmaker‘s ′vehicles have never been equipped with software or any device that would have allowed them to detect‘ test conditions which could lead to the manipulation of test results. 

As with Renault, PSA could face a fine that amounts to 10% of its average annual turnover over the three years prior to a judgement. 

Photograph courtesy of Groupe PSA