Fiat Chrysler could face a fine equivalent to $11.5 billion for tampering with French diesel emissions tests, according to a report from the French newspaper Le Monde.
The Italian automaker called the report baseless and asserted it had not violated any regulation or manipulated any of its vehicle’s emissions systems. The company has not been charged and continues to cooperate with French authorities, Fiat told Bloomberg.
France’s anti-fraud office, the Directorate General for Competition and Repression of Fraud, generated the report, according to Le Monde. The French agency has not publicly released the report, however, Bloomberg reports.
Fiat is facing a similar lawsuit in the United States. The U.S. sued the car manufacturer in May for fitting 104,000 vehicles in 2014 with software capable of cheating emissions controls. Fiat has maintained innocence in the U.S. suit, as well, Reuters reports
“In the case of any litigation, [Fiat Chrysler] will defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests,” Fiat Chrysler told Bloomberg in an emailed statement. “The company believes that any litigation would be counterproductive to ongoing discussions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.”
The automaker was fined $105 million by the U.S. in 2015 for skipping or not completing 23 safety tests on more than 11 million vehicles.
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