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Reports of Euro fines false, FCA says

by Chris Vander Doelen on

The French media are again playing up the supposed guilt of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in an investigation of automakers allegedly cheating on diesel emissions tests.

A month ago told you here that FCA faced fines of up to 10.5 billion Euros if found guilty, including a fine of 300,000 Euros for something called “aggravated deceit.”

Today’s big development in the story? FCA could face billions in fines, the French newspaper Le Monde reported today – up to 9.62 billion Euros. Plus more for allegedly trying to deceive investigators.

The company is calling the news report and others based on it false. “FCA believes that the allegations reported by the press have no basis,” the company told Automotive News in a statement.

Volkswagen, Renault and PSA Group are also under investigation for their test results. PSA’s potential fine is a paltry 5 billion Euros, Le Monde reported today.

The vehicles in question are the Jeep Cherokee and the Fiat 500x units sold in France between 2014 and 2016. French authorities launched their own investigation of pollution control programs after VW admitted it used defeat devices on its vehicles in 2015.

According to the French consumer watchdog group DGCCRF, the two FCA vehicles emitted up to 11 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxides (NOx) when tested. The agency also claims FCA has been obstructing its investigation, hence the aggravated deceit charge.

VW’s supposed fine would be up to 19.73 billion Euros, based on its sales and profits during the suspect years, Le Monde reported last spring.

Chris Vander Doelen was Opinion Editor and columnist of The Windsor Star until December, 2016; he was the Star's automotive reporter and columnist for seven years, and had also covered the political and gambling beats. With his wife, Veronique Mandal, he wrote the book Chasing Lightning (1999). Chris won a National Newspaper Award in 1997 and more than a dozen provincial news awards. There is a Chrysler 300 in his driveway.

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