According to reports in the French media, nearly two million vehicles from PSA could have emissions test cheating software installed. If true, the French company - which owns Peugeot, Citroen DS and recently acquired Opel - could be hit with an estimated €5 billion fine.
This all stems from an internal PSA document being examined by DGCCRF - the French watchdog currently investigating the company for possible cheating - which mentions the need to make a ‘defeat device’ “less obvious and visible,” La Monde reports. The document is also said to note that at least 1,914,965 Euro 5-compliant diesel cars are affected.
It hasn’t taken PSA long to respond to the allegations, with the firm releasing a statement saying that it “denies any fraud strategy and strongly reaffirms its technological choices.”
The statement goes on to say that PSA “Has not been contacted by the judicial authorities,” adding, “The group is outraged to learn that information has been provided to third parties whereas Groupe PSA has never had access to the file submitted by the DGCCRF to the public prosecutor’s office, making it impossible for the group to put forward its arguments.”
The emission controls in PSA’s diesel cars are altered under certain real-world circumstances, but only as part of a “strategy” that “favors low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions in cities while ensuring the best NOx/ CO2 balance on open roads.” In other words, PSA is adamant its software doesn’t include a special mode to dupe the emissions test.
We’ll be following this with interest…