In the wake of the notorious Volkswagen Dieselgate emissions scandal, several manufacturers were suddenly put under scrutiny and accused of using emissions cheating devices similar to VW. As part of an on-going French investigation, the finger was pointed at Renault, Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, PSA, Nissan, VW, Ford and Opel, to name a few. Now, just weeks after the French-owned PSA Group acquired General Motors which owns Opel and Vauxhall, Autonews reports that Opel has been cleared of the investigation.
Following investigations, the government agency concluded that Opel “did not bring to light any evidence of fraud.” Last year, Opel came under scrutiny after reports from German environmental agencies claimed that the emissions control in the Zafira MPV was less effective if the vehicle exceeds 87 mph or a higher altitude. Ironically, Opel admitted that emissions manipulating software was used in its vehicles, but there was no malicious intent – the software was used to protect the engine, rather than pass emissions tests. The executives at Opel must be breathing a huge sigh of relief, particularly as the news conveniently coincides with the French group PSA’s $2.3 billion takeover of General Motors.
The timing doesn’t sound suspicious at all, given that PSA is a French-owned company which the French government has a 13% stake in. So far, only Volkswagen has been directly accused and prosecuted for emissions cheating.