Last week, a French court charged Stellantis’ Peugeot brand with consumer fraud after an intense diesel emissions probe involving several automakers. The court has ordered the automaker to provide €30 million ($36 million) in guarantees for potential payouts. The investigation focused on older diesel vehicles sold in France between the 2009 and 2015 model year. A much wider probe was started in 2017, after alleged cheating of emissions test by automotive manufacturers.
Stellantis official released a statement regarding the decision on Friday…
As part of the judicial investigations of several automakers commenced in 2016 and 2017, Automobiles Peugeot S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stellantis N.V., was placed today under examination by the Judicial Court of Paris on allegations of consumer fraud in connection with the sale of Euro 5 diesel vehicles in France between 2009 and 2015.
As typical in a French criminal inquiry, Automobiles Peugeot S.A. will have to pay a bail of 10 million Euros (of which 8 million for the potential payment of damages and fines and 2 million to ensure the company’s representation in court) and will have to provide a bank guarantee of €30 million for the potential compensation for losses. Automobiles Peugeot S.A. is also in the process of assessing its defense options in this respect.
This formal step in the judicial investigation will allow the investigated parties to have full access to the case file and give them the opportunity to defend against allegations that have not yet been evaluated in adversarial proceedings.
The companies firmly believe that their emission control systems met all applicable requirements at the relevant times and continue to do so and look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate that.
The Stellantis Group, which was established in January 2021, will continue its predecessors’ policies and cooperate fully with the justice system in order to resolve this matter expeditiously.
As the statement said, the Judicial Court of Paris has also ordered the Citroën brand and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Italy, two other Stellantis operating units to appear in front of the court over the upcoming weeks as part of the same investigations.
“The companies firmly believe that their emission control systems met all applicable requirements at the relevant times and continue to do so and look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate that,” an official spokesperson from Stellantis said.
The prosecution has said they it has found that some of the vehicles from Peugeot and another French automaker Renault, have produced as much as 10-times the regulatory limits for on-the-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions dating back to 2019 reports in the investigation.
European automakers have been underfire since the “dieselgate” scandal, that found Volkswagen cheating emissions testing in the United States back in 2015.
Source: Automotive News Europe