After Renault in May and Volkswagen Tuesday, Peugeot was indicted on Wednesday for “deception“in France in the investigation into the scandal of”dieselgate“, unblocking a file stuck for years which could also lead to the questioning of Citroën and Fiat-Chrysler.
In a press release Wednesday evening, Stellantis, Peugeot’s parent company, announced the indictment of its subsidiary “due to allegations of deception relating to the sale of Euro 5 diesel vehicles in France between 2009 and 2015.“
“Our subsidiaries firmly believe that their emission control systems met all the requirements applicable then and continue to meet them today, and they look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate it.“the group added.
A judicial source confirmed the indictment on Wednesday of the head of “deception endangering human or animal health“.
A report from the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control, sent to the courts in February 2017, referred to a “overall strategy to manufacture fraudulent engines and then market them“.
According to investigators, some 1.9 million diesel vehicles of the Euro5 generation (standard in force until 2015), “whose engine works according to fraudulent strategies“, were sold by PSA (Peugeot-Citroën) between September 2009 and September 2015 in France.
Maximum fine of 5 billion euros
In view of the violations found, the DGCCRF assessed the maximum fine incurred by the company at 5 billion euros.
An enormous sum, however four times less than the maximum fine, 19.7 billion euros, assessed this time by the DGCCRF for Volkswagen.
The manufacturer, by whom the scandal of “dieselgate“arrived, was indicted on May 6 for”deception of the substantial qualities of a commodity endangering human or animal health“, a judicial source told AFP.
The questioning in France was made public by the German giant on Wednesday morning in a disputing statement “any prejudice“for consumers in France.
At the same time, former Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn was indicted for false testimony in Germany before a parliamentary commission of inquiry into this resounding scandal of rigged engines, according to the German prosecution.
The dieselgate, which has given rise to legal actions in many countries, has already cost Volkswagen 30 billion euros, largely in the United States where the German group pleaded guilty to fraud in 2017.
Volkswagen admitted in the fall of 2015 that it had equipped 11 million of its diesel vehicles with software capable of concealing emissions that sometimes exceed 40 times the authorized standards. Since then, sales of diesel cars have plummeted.