France Accuses PSA Group of Cheating Emissions Regulations

All the cool kids were doing it, so PSA allegedly decided to join the fun.

Fabrice Coffrini, AFP, via Getty Images

Dieselgate, the pet name for the Volkswagen AG diesel engine emissions scandal, is now old news. Multiple companies came under scrutiny following VW's implication, and other cheaters were caught in the months and years that have followed. Brands like Mercedes, with their BlueTec lineup, were caught emitting levels of pollutants afoul of regulations; M-B had to shell out over a quarter of a billion dollars to fill the hole they dug themselves into. Multiple branches of FCA were caught violating emissions standards in different countries, with Ram trucks offending stateside and Fiat found fouling the Fatherland's air

Now, PSA Group, which includes Renault, Citro├źn, DS, Opel, and Vauxhall (the latter two were bought from GM earlier this year) has been informally accused by the DGCCRF, France's General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control, of including its own emissions "defeat devices" in its cars, owing to an alleged leaked internal document from PSA, according to a report in Le Monde.

A PSA engineering official stated that the company's diesel cars do in fact have multiple emission control maps, but claims that they are innocuous, simply allowing higher NOx emissions outside of city driving to improve fuel economy, where the human impact of derestricted emissions has less of an impact, and tightening emission controls within urban areas.

PSA claims no affiliation or familiarity with the document that cites a "defeat device" sent from the DGCCRF to the French judicial system, and denies the accusations leveled at them by the DGCCRF.

"Groupe PSA reaffirms that it complies with regulations in every country where it operates and its vehicles have never been equipped with software or systems making it possible to detect compliance tests and to activate a pollutant treatment device that would be inactive during customer use."