Emission probes have been in fashion for a couple of years now, especially in Europe. In France, the most recent target is FCA. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is currently under a judicial investigation as toÂ whether or not it misled customers and cheated during emissions testing.
Though the terms of probeÂ are unclear, a letter from the French magistrate kicked off the new investigation earlier this month.Â In the letter, the head of the investigation says the suspected emissions cheating dates back as early as September 2009, and involves the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Jeep brands. FCA is also under investigation in the United States over possible emissions cheating with its light-duty diesel truck engines.Â
Reuters, which intercepted the letter,Â was nonspecific as to which engines might be at fault. However it does state that investigators suspect FCA was involved in theÂ â€œobstruction of the work of an official tasked with registering breaches of the consumer code.â€�
Further investigation from France’s Le MondeÂ indicates the powerplants under scrutiny wereÂ dieselÂ motors sold primarily in Fiat and Jeep vehicles â€” specifically the longstanding Multijet series of engines.
The European Union previouslyÂ launched legal action against Italy for failing to properly police allegations of emissions cheating by Fiat Chrysler. Whether this is a post-dieselgate witch hunt or something far more serious remains to be seen. The maximum fine for corporate “aggravated deception” would translate to roughly 10.5 billion euros, if France takes into account the automaker’s global revenue.
FCA France claims it has cooperated with authorities and will continue to do so in the future. However, it said it will not comment further on the matter until the full details are known.