A law firm has released documents it says show that Citroen and Peugeot breached emissions limits.
London-based commercial litigation firm Harcus Parker says it is close to issuing ‘letters of claim’ to both manufacturers – now part of Stellantis, which was formed by the merger of Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
It maintains that evidence suggests that all diesel vehicles sold by Groupe PSA in Europe between 2009 and 2018 each had an unlawful ‘defeat device’, with Peugeot and Citroen admitting to an inquiry set up by the European Parliament following the VW dieselgate scandal that their vehicles used the devices.
Up to 50,000 Peugeot and Citroën vehicles were recalled in 2020 as a result of what Groupe PSA referred to as ‘Emissions of NOx which do not comply with the regulatory limits’.
Harcus Parker says more than 500,000 Peugeot and Citroen diesel vehicles are likely to be affected, meaning up to one million people might be able to claim.
Those who owned a vehicle fitted with an unlawful ‘defeat device’ could be in line for compensation running into the thousands.
Damon Parker, senior partner at Harcus Parker, said: ‘Although, for obvious reasons, when ‘‘dieselgate’’ is mentioned people tend to think of Volkswagen, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the issue of adherence with emissions standards is an industry-wide problem.
‘Groupe PSA are the latest to recall a significant number of vehicles and they explicitly cited their NOx emissions as the reason.’
He added: ‘The previous argument that these devices are necessary to prevent premature ageing of components has now been rejected by the Court of Justice of the European Union.’
Parker said that although Stellantis planned to put right some of the affected vehicles, there were serious concerns about whether it would have the desired effect.
In addition, it would leave owners with a vehicle doing fewer miles per gallon, meaning higher running costs and CO2 emissions.
‘My clients bought diesel vehicles after believing the message pushed on them from all sides that ‘‘clean diesels’’ offered a win-win solution to the problem of increasing CO2 emissions.
‘Unfortunately, this ignores the difficulties manufacturers have always faced in controlling emissions of NOx.
‘The effects of diesel fumes on air quality are now becoming more well known, and my clients hope that by holding vehicle manufacturers to account for breaching regulatory limits, they can help to protect the environment, air quality and our health in the future.’
Car Dealer has asked Stellantis for a comment.