Fiat Chrysler diesel emissions investigated in France

Fiat front grill Image copyright AFP

French prosecutors have opened an investigation into claims Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) broke diesel emissions tests.

Industry regulators in the country have been looking into whether some FCA cars exceeded emissions limits.

FCA, already facing probes in the UK and US, said it noted the prosecutor's decision to look into "certain alleged consumer protection violations".

But FCA added that its diesel cars fully complied with emissions rules.

The move by French prosecuting magistrates comes after revelations in 2015 that German carmaker Volkswagen broke diesel tests in the US.

France's consumer affairs body passed a file on Fiat Chrysler to the courts for possible investigation in February.

Tests by French regulators last year, launched in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions test-cheating scandal, revealed pollutants from some Fiat Chrysler and other car maker's models exceeded regulatory limits.

The move by the French prosecutor is the latest indication that questions about diesel pollution tests extend beyond Volkswagen.


A French judicial source told Reuters that the Paris prosecutor had opened the investigation on 15 March, after the finance ministry's consumer affairs and anti-fraud body had referred the case to the courts.

"I can confirm that a judicial investigation has been opened into aggravated cheating," the source said.

FCA said in a statement that its diesel vehicles "fully comply with applicable emissions requirements" in Italy, where its European unit is based. But the company could not comment on which models were under further investigation in France.

However, it said that it would "continue to co-operate to any investigations by competent authorities and remains fully confident that the matter will be clarified in due course".

In the UK, the government is testing the emissions of the car maker's Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The UK Department for Transport has also asked for details of a probe by the US Environmental Protection Agency into Fiat Chrysler diesel emissions software.

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