PSA furious after accusations of fraud on its engines

(Article published on Friday, September 8, at 15h04 and updated to 17h59)

PSA is angry ! The group is a French car has released a statement expressing his “indignation” after the publication of an article in the World on its ” strategy of engines fraudulent “. The French daily explains to have had access to the file transmitted by the DGCCRF to justice and which has led it to open an investigation against PSA. The DGCCRF accuses the group is a French car of ” deceit on the substantial qualities of goods, and on the controls carried out “. Always according to the revelations of the World, the public administration would have identified 1.9 million vehicles ” diesel generation Euro 5 motor which operates according to the strategies fraudulent “. These vehicles were sold between September 2009 and September 2015, the date on which the Euro 6 standard is imposed.

5 billion euro fine ?

This fraud would correspond to a turnover of 33,86 billion euros, which is more than the business Volkswagen (22,78 billion euros of turnover), or Renault and its 900.000 cars non-compliant (16,85 billion euros). Thus, PSA is liable to a fine that could amount to 5 billion euros, which corresponds to 10% of its turnover in the fiscal years 2013, 2014 and 2015, according to estimates by the DGCCRF.

The DGCCRF accuses PSA have installed a device that alters the behaviour of its systems of pollution as a function of the presence or absence of homologation tests. The institution calls this a ploy of “economy with fraudulent investment” in the sense that it has enabled PSA to not invest in technologies for clean-up.

For its part, PSA is furious ! First, because it has not had access to the folder that would enable him to ” make its case “. The automotive industry group complains of never having been aware of the grievances that have led the DGCCRF to transmit the file to the public prosecutor.

A calibration assumed by PSA

Contacted by The Tribune, the PSA has maintained its official position that it has never installed of fraudulent software on its cars and that it complies with all the regulations in force in all countries where it operates. He explained that the calibrations which allow to activate or deactivate the remediation systems are not the fact of the presence or not of a certification test, but an optimization of the efficiency but also the security of the car as a function of temperature.

For example, in certain temperature conditions, the activation of the EGR valve is dangerous for the engine. Its misuse can lead the engine to emit more CO2.

So it could be that the entire key to the case resides on the device calibration, which according to PSA is used to secure the car, but which could serve to deflect some controls according to the DGCCRF.

| Also read: Auto : the temperature thresholds, a scandal in sleep…

Nevertheless, according to The World, the DGCCRF would have discovered during his searches of internal documents and emails to support on these so-called calibrations. Pis ! PSA would have continued this practice on its engines certified to Euro 6. The DGCCRF considered that Carlos Tavares could be recognized as responsible for these fraudulent acts, but its predecessors also. As well, she suspected Philippe Varin (CEO between 2009 and 2014), Christian Streiff (2007 to 2009), but also Jean-Martin Folz (1997 to 2007), be held criminally responsible for the case. “MESSRS. Folz, Streiff and Varin are leaders aware, and they cannot therefore plead their good faith on the fraudulent nature of the strategy implementation within PSA,” writes the DGCCRF.

PSA visibly tired from being at the heart of a controversy without being able to precisely answer the main objections, has decided to file a complaint with the Prosecutor of the Republic for violation of the secrecy of the statement.

The group would like to finally have access to the folder in order to be able to finally respond on the merits. Renault, struck by a similar procedure, formulates the same request. In vain.

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