The Fiat-Chrysler automotive group was indicted Tuesday, July 13 in the investigation in France on the “Dieselgate”, becoming the fifth manufacturer prosecuted in this scandal relating to fraud in the pollution control of diesel engines, said his lawyer .
→ CONTEXT. The “dieselgate” scandal catches up with Renault and Volkswagen
After Volkswagen, Renault, Peugeot and Citroën, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Italy was indicted for “Deception on the substantial qualities of a commodity endangering the health of humans or animals”, confirmed a judicial source.
The group was further placed under the status of assisted witness for “Hindrance” to the investigation and required to pay a deposit of 150,000 € and constitute a bank guarantee of 200,000 €, specified Mr.e Alexis Gublin, lawyer for the Italian-American group now owned by the Stellantis holding company. Elements that have been confirmed by the judicial source.
“The vehicles involved were compliant”
“FCA Italy disputes the allegations against it and firmly believes that the vehicles in question complied with the regulations in force and will endeavor to demonstrate this”, responded Me Alexis Gublin. FCA Italy “Now has the possibility of presenting a precise and exhaustive defense against suspicions that it has not so far had the possibility of contesting within the framework of an adversarial procedure”, he added. Stellantis should react in the afternoon according to a source familiar with the matter.
Volkswagen, Renault, Citroën, Peugeot and Fiat-Chrysler are accused of having equipped, from 2009 and for several years, diesel vehicles with software capable of concealing emissions sometimes exceeding 40 times the authorized standards. The revelation in 2015 of this scandal had led to the brutal devaluation of the value of millions of diesel vehicles around the world. The five manufacturers refute these accusations.
Risk of fines of several billion euros
After five years of investigation in France, these legal proceedings pave the way for a possible trial, with a risk of fines of several billion euros for the manufacturers. Vehicle owners could then claim compensation.
→ READ. Air pollution, the French state condemned to a record fine of 10 million euros
“These indictments confirm the serious facts observed in 2015”, estimates Me François Lafforgue, lawyer of the associations Écologie sans frontières and Respire, as well as a hundred motorists.
He hopes that “All the light is shed, that the responsibilities are released and that the owners of vehicles victims of this deception can see this file lead to a hearing in front of the criminal court”.