PSA Defends Diesel Engines After French Probe Goes to Prosecutor

  • Peugeot maker says it’s “surprised”’ by ministry decision
  • French government is examining emissions at dozen carmakers

PSA Group defended emissions mechanisms in its Peugeot and Citroen cars, expressing “surprise” that the French government sent results of an investigation into the company’s diesel engines to a prosecutor.

France’s Economy Ministry late Thursday said it’s sending a report from its fraud office about PSA’s emissions to the Justice Ministry, making it the fourth carmaker to warrant such scrutiny, following similar announcements in the past year about Renault SA, Volkswagen AG and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

PSA “complies with all the regulations in force in all countries where it operates,” the company responded on Thursday, stating that its vehicles have never been equipped with cheating software. The shares rose 0.7 percent to 17.43 euros at 9:48 a.m. in Paris trading.

Europe’s third-biggest automaker is being probed as part of a wider investigation into nitrogen oxide emissions of diesel vehicles in France. Regulators have raised the pressure on automakers to comply with rules since Volkswagen admitted to having used software to lower the emissions of its cars’ fumes to pass tests. The European Commission has urged member states to further look into vehicles in their jurisdictions.

The French government is examining emissions mechanisms at a dozen carmakers selling diesel vehicles in the country. The fraud office’s probe into PSA was partly based on documents obtained during a search raid at the company, it said.

The Paris prosecutor has already opened preliminary probes on the issue at Renault and Volkswagen and has also received a report from the economy ministry’s examination of Fiat Chrysler. Investigations into other carmakers are still ongoing, the ministry said.

The inquiry concerns vehicles that comply with the European Union norm known as Euro 5, which started coming into effect in 2009.

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