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PSA Group raided by French authorities

Investigated: PSA Group says it has confidence in its fuel-saving technologies after announcing it has been raided by the French government’s anti-fraud unit investigating emissions figures.

French government raids PSA Group over emissions reporting

22 Apr 2016

PSA Group has confirmed it has been raided by the French government’s anti-fraud unit as part of ongoing investigations into the reporting of emissions figures by the automotive industry.

The largest car-maker in France and producer of Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles, PSA Group is the latest automotive giant to be raided by France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), following similar action against Renault in January.

A statement from PSA Groups says the company is confident in its fuel-saving technology, and it is working with the government unit.

“PSA Group confirms compliance of its vehicles in pollutant emissions in all countries where it operates," the statement says. "Confident in his technologies, PSA Group is fully cooperating with the authorities.

“Furthermore, PSA Group notes the effectiveness of the BlueHDi after-treatment system, which includes selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology positioned upstream of the particulate filter, to treat the nitrogen oxides (NOx) released by diesel engines.

“This technology has been progressively deployed on all of the Group’s Euro 6 vehicles from the end of 2013.”

PSA highlighted its decision from November last year to publish “real-world” fuel consumption results from test procedures that were developed by a pair of non-government organisations – Transport & Environment (T&E) and France Nature Environment (FNE) – and audited by Bureau Veritas.

Automotive News Europe reports that a PSA spokesperson confirmed the raids at four research and development centres “with offices sealed off and disc drives and computers seized”.

The raids are a result of the scandal that has engulfed Volkswagen Group since late September last year when it was discovered that some of the German giant’s models across a number of its brands had been fitted with a device that cheats emissions testing.

Last year, when it was announced that Renault had been investigated, the car-maker’s shares fell sharply, despite investigators finding no evidence of wrongdoing.

At the time that Renault Group headquarters were raided in January, PSA Group released a statement announcing that test results on its vehicles had shown an absence of cheat devices on PSA models.

The larger French car-maker took a not-so-subtle dig at Renault at the time, saying in a January statement: “PSA Peugeot Citroen has not been the subject of a search by France’s General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF).”

Earlier this week, Japanese car-maker Mitsubishi Motors Corporation admitted to manipulating fuel economy figures on its mini car range that it also builds as part of a joint-venture arrangement with Nissan.

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