After some reports pointing to Mercedes and Ford being inquired in the emissions probe in France, sources told Reuters that Mercedes and Opel were now targeted to give explanations in front of the panel.
Mercedes and Opel officials will face the French panel looking into the industry emissions, a move forced by Volkswagen’s scandal, a member of the commission told Reuters yesterday. Denis Baupin, a member of parliament and member of the panel known locally as the Royal Committee, said the German and US carmakers would face the panel on January 28. France’s Energy minister Segolene Royal, after whom the panel takes its name, told a news television channel on Wednesday that other carmakers may have topped emissions limits. “There are also other brands that exceed the limits. My goal is to ensure that everyone respects standards and that engines are tuned to protect the health of the French,” she said. The injury into emissions started by the government has made Renault prompt a recall program for around 15,000 cars powered by the dCi 110-horsepower engine, with the purpose to recalibrate the engine’s control unit.
Les Echos French newspaper previously reported that Ford Motor and Mercedes also had to appear before the French investigators after it has been found that two of their models also displayed excessive emissions. The paper said at that time the Ford C-Max and Mercedes-Benz S-Class were targeted by the new disclosures, tests made on S-Class 350 luxury limousine giving inconsistent results, but it did not mention Opel’s involvement.
However, the inquiry into the GM brand is not coming as a total surprise, as the German environmental lobby group DUH issued a report in October concerning the Opel Zafira 1.6 CDTi multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), saying the model could exceed the EU limits by close to 17 times under “certain situations”.