Around 2 million PSA Group vehicles have been outfitted with “suspect” software (suspected defeat devices, that is), according to the findings of a French investigation into the matter the newspaper Le Monde has reported. The vehicles in question were apparently all Peugeot and Citroen models, according to the investigation.
Unsurprisingly a spokesperson for PSA Group has denied that anything illegal was done, or that there was any use of illegal engine management software (“defeat devices” meant to game emissions testing processes).
For those unfamiliar with the subject, a brief explanation is probability in order — so as to “meet” vehicle emissions standards, some manufacturers have in recent years taken to installing software that sharply limits performance (and thus emissions) in the narrow band of use that defines most current emissions testing. Outside of that narrow range of use, emissions surge, so as to allow for the performance that consumers seem to expect.
As a result of this reality, real-world emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from vehicles is much higher than is officially “supposed” to be the case. Hence the current, and increasingly bad, air pollution problems of Europe (and elsewhere).
Reuters provides more: “In February PSA became the fourth carmaker to be referred to French prosecutors by the country’s DGCCRF watchdog over suspected emissions test-cheating, after Volkswagen, Renault, and Fiat Chrysler.
“PSA’s engineering chief acknowledged at the time that emissions treatment in the group’s diesels was deliberately reduced at higher temperatures to improve fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in out-of-town driving, where NOx output is considered less critical.
“According to Le Monde, an internal PSA document obtained by DGCCRF investigators includes discussion of the need to ‘make the defeat device aspect less obvious and visible’. However PSA insists there is nothing fraudulent or illegal about its engine calibrations.”
“PSA denies any fraud and firmly reaffirms the pertinence of its technology decisions,” a PSA spokesperson said.
Well, of course the company does, because otherwise it would have to accept responsibility…
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