A French investigation into presumed diesel test-cheating by Fiat Chrysler is focused on vehicle models that generated 152 million euros ($181 million) in sales in the nation, Le Monde reported on Monday.
Recent FCA diesels, that consist the Jeep Cherokee and Fiat 500X, emitted about 11 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx) when tests were extended beyond their typical 20 minutes, suggesting the existence of prohibited software used to manipulate the formal tests, as per the findings by the French DGCCRF customer scams watchdog reported by the newspaper.
French prosecutors opened an official investigation in March on the basis of the DGCCRF report.
“FCA thinks that the accusations reported by the press have no basis,” the automaker stated, adding that it was cooperating with the French investigation. The DGCCRF refused to comment when called by Reuters.
French prosecutors are looking at FCA, in addition to Renault, Volkswagen and PSA Group, over presumed diesel test-rigging.
French officials are investigating the four automakers under intensified fraud charges that bring maximum fines of 10 percent of worldwide earnings – or 9.62 billion euros in FCA’s case.
However, French sales of vehicles geared up with suspect software offer a better gauge of potential exposure in the event of conviction. The fraud watchdog puts the sales figure at 151.69 million euros for the years 2014-16, Le Monde stated.
According to the French daily, the DGCCRF has likewise accused FCA of blocking its investigation, as reported by Reuters in previous month.