France May Prosecute Fiat Chrysler Over Excessive Diesel Emissions

French investigators state they caught diesel-powered Jeep and Fiat vehicles spitting out excessive levels of nitrogen oxide. The decision to refer the case to prosecutors comes less than a month after similar EPA allegations against FCA.

byWill Sabel Courtney| PUBLISHED Feb 7, 2017 12:04 PM
France May Prosecute Fiat Chrysler Over Excessive Diesel Emissions

French prosecutors may be planning to prosecute Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over excessive levels of nitrogen oxide emissions generated by some of the Italian-American carmaker's diesel-powered vehicles, according to a Reuters report

The French government said that investigators have passed information onto prosecutors, as part of an effort launched in the wake of Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal popularly known as Dieselgate. FCA is the third car company to be referred to prosecutors in the country over emissions issues, according to Reuters, after VW and Renault; French investigators are reportedly continuing to look into other automakers. 

FCA reportedly stated today that all its diesel vehicles are in full compliance with governmental pollution regulations. A spokesperson told Reuters that Fiat Chrysler had reservations about the manner in which the French tests were conducted, but that the company was looking forward to working with France on the matter.

In July 2016, French investigators published a report claiming the diesel Jeep Cherokee they tested was caught emitting eight times the allowable level of NOx, while a diesel Fiat 500X was reportedly spitting out 17 times the legal levels of the greenhouse gas. 

The French case is the latest in a series of diesel-related bad news for FCA. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency alleged the company had equipped more than 100,000 oil-burning Ram and Jeep models with undisclosed emissions management software that could skew nitrous oxide emissions.  FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne was quick to respond, claiming the EPA was taking a "belligerent" stance towards car companies.

"I'm really pissed off," Marchionne reportedly said about the EPA accusations last month. We imagine he's feeling similarly peeved today.