The parent company to Citroen and Peugeot has confirmed that the automakers face prosecution by French authorities over their alleged role in the ‘dieselgate’ scandal, becoming the latest car manufacturers to be charged.
In a statement, Stellantis said French prosecutors had filed charges against the two manufacturers over the emissions cheating scandal, while another of its subsidiaries, FCA Italy S.p.A. is also being investigated.
Peugeot has been ordered by authorities to guarantee €30 million ($37 million) “for the potential compensation for losses” and pay €10 million ($12.2 million) to cover bail, including €8 million ($9.7 million) for possible damages and €2 million ($2.2 million) for court costs.
Similarly, Citroen has been ordered by officials to provide an €8 million ($9.74 million) deposit and bank guarantee of €25 million ($30.44 million) in the event it has to pay compensation following a court defeat, according to media reports.
The case focuses on “allegations of consumer fraud in connection with the sale of Euro 5 diesel vehicles in France between 2009 and 2015.” It is thought that 1.9 million Euro 5 diesel cars were sold by Peugeot and Citroen during that period.
Representatives of the firms are scheduled to appear at the Judicial Court of Paris in June and July to testify in the investigation.
Stellantis has denied the allegations of wrongdoing, saying in its statement that “the companies firmly believe that their emission control systems met all applicable requirements at the relevant times and continue to do so, and look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate that.” Citroen is currently assessing its defense options, according to the parent company’s statement.
The prosecution of the automakers comes after an investigation that took place following a 2017 report from France’s anti-fraud agency that claimed car manufacturers engaged in a “global strategy aimed at fabricating fraudulent motors and then commercialising them.”
The announcement of the charges against Citroen and Peugeot follows confirmation from Renault and Volkswagen that they have also been charged for their alleged role in the emissions scandal, with each facing tens of millions of euros in fines if they are found to have engaged in wrongdoing.
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