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March 20, 2017

France Opel diesel probe closed

France's anti-fraud office has closed its investigations concerning Opel's diesel vehicles.

France’s anti-fraud office has closed its investigations concerning Opel’s diesel vehicles.

French Finance and Industry Ministers, Michel Sapin and Christophe Sirugue, said the country’s Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes (DGCCRF), had concluded its probe into Opel.

The DGCCRF used test results from France’s Union Technique de l’Automobile, du Motocycle et du Cycle (UTAC) and the IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) bodies, as well as documents submitted by the automaker.

“These elements, which it [DGCCRF] has collected and analysed, have not revealed deception,” said an anti-fraud office statement. “These investigations are part of the framework of a wider inquiry into Nitrogen Dioxide emissions from a dozen constructors.

“Investigations into other manufacturers are still ongoing.”

PSA Group, which is in the process of starting the acquisition of Opel/Vauxhall, said last month it was surprised at the decision made by the DGCCRF to send the conclusions of its investigation (into some kind of fraud involving emissions, though details have not been made public) to the public prosecutor.

“In light of the situation, PSA Group will make a clear case for its position… and defend its interests as well as those of its 180,000 employees, its customers and its partners,” the automaker said in a statement.

PSA insisted the Group complies with the regulations in force in all countries where it operates and its vehicles have never been equipped with software or devices to detect a compliance test and to activate a pollutant treatment device, which would be inactive in customer use.

Results of tests carried out by different European and French authorities have confirmed the Group’s vehicles comply with regulatory tests criteria.

“PSA understands the DGCCRF’s inquiries concern the diesel engines of the old generation Euro5 [standard in force from 2009 to 2015]. However, the tests carried out recently on a Euro5 vehicle by the IFPEN did not reveal any anomaly,” said the automaker.

It noted the test results were consistent with the Group’s approach – explained to various authorities and media – of setting engine parameters according to real-life driver behaviour.

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