Saturday 21 October 2017

Peugeot 'outraged' as they deny up to 1.9m vehicles designed to trick emission tests

Peugeot has denied wrongdoing
Peugeot has denied wrongdoing
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

TWO years after the Volkswagen scandal broke there is no sign of a let-up in suspicions that other carmakers were at it too.

It’s the motoring issue that won’t go away despite vehement denials of any wrongdoing by several marques.

The latest claims, stringently denied, are that as many as 1.9 million PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen, DS) vehicles made between 2009 and 2015 may have had engines designed to trick diesel emissions tests.

Coming just days before the major Frankfurt Motor Show, and in Ireland’s case in the lead-up to the Ploughing here, the allegations once again force diesel centre stage for all the wrong reasons.

This time it is the supposed details of a report obtained by the Le Monde newspaper which claims an internal PSA document obtained by investigators includes discussion of the need to “make the ‘defeat device’ aspect less obvious and visible”.

PSA insists there is absolutely nothing fraudulent or illegal about its engine calibrations. “PSA denies any fraud and firmly reaffirms the pertinence of its technology decisions,” the company said.

The as-yet unpublished report is said to allege that PSA developed a strategy to fit its engines with defeat devices. In the Volkswagen case, these reduced the level of nitrogen oxide emissions during testing and allowed them to rise when cars were being driven under normal circumstances.

Read More: Engineer at Volkswagen jailed over emmissions

It is also alleged that PSA tried to continue doing so in post-2015 manufactured cars but with the defeat devices less noticeable. PSA could face fines of up to €5bn if found to have transgressed.

The Group sold around 5,500 passengers cars on the Irish market last year. It has had a strong reputation for its diesel engines over the years.

One irony of the latest claims is that the Group is one of few to produce ‘real-life’ fuel consumption/emissions tests in recent times.

The Le Monde claim is based on a document by French consumer watchdog DGCCRF. The agency has been investigating several car brands sold in France since Volkswagen’s scandal broke in 2015.

But PSA said it 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.”

It also said it complies with all regulations and "its vehicles have never been equipped with software or systems" allowing it to deceive tests.

Regardless of the outcome in this particular case, it is fair to say we haven’t heard the end of the ‘diesel issue’ by a long way.

Online Editors

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