Archive for March, 2017
Chine Labbe and Laurence Frost
March 21, 2017 20:56 CET
PARIS — A French prosecutor has opened an investigation into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over allegations that the carmaker cheated in diesel-emission tests, a judicial source told Reuters on Tuesday.
“I can confirm that a judicial investigation has been opened into aggravated cheating,” the source said.
The source said the Paris prosecutor had opened the investigation on March 15, after the finance ministry’s DGCCRF consumer affairs and anti-fraud body had referred the case to the courts.
A Fiat spokesman said the company took note of the investigation and reiterated that its diesel vehicles fully comply with emission regulations, as confirmed by the Italian Transport Ministry.
The spokesman said the company would continue to collaborate with the authorities on all investigations and was confident the matter would be fully resolved.
Following Volkswagen’s admission in 2015 of cheating on U.S. diesel-emission tests, several European countries launched their own tests on vehicle emissions.
They found on-road nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions more than 10 times above regulatory limits — for some Opel, Renault and FCA models — and widespread use of devices that reduce exhaust treatment in some conditions.
The French test program has so far led to four carmakers — Volkswagen, Renault, FCA and PSA Group — being referred for possible prosecution by the consumer fraud agency.
General Motors’ Opel brand was cleared of any emissions wrongdoing by French authorities last week.
I retired two years ago from a career in Information Technology, the last few years running IT systems for large hospital groups.
A lifelong owner of sports cars, including many Alfas and Lancias, it all started when my Dad bought a Bugeye Sprite when I was about three. My first car, at 16, was a 1965 Triumph Spitfire. I have fond memories of growing up checking out car books from the library all the time and attending dirt track races and SCCA races, as a friend of my Dad’s raced a 260Z. I even got to work the flag corners and hang out in the pits.
My first Alfa was a green 1973 Spider I bought when I was in my 20s. I’ve owned 11 Alfas and eight Lancias over the years as well as that first Triumph. I think I’ve owned about 30 – 35 cars overall.
My wife and I moved to Signal Mountain, TN five and a half years ago, and I realized a childhood dream of living on some acreage in an area where neighbors wouldn’t mind me having a bunch of project cars. My retirement plan was to pursue my passion for cars and shortly before I retired, I started a buying spree, grabbing up “deal of the century” sports cars that seemed to appear daily on eBay, Craigslist, Bring-a-Trailer or some other online market.
Before I knew it, I had accumulated 16 cars in varying states of “project.” About half of them run, but all need some sort of work, either mechanical or cosmetic. My wife, Colby says I need a 12-step program for car addiction, but nonetheless has been incredibly supportive of me. I think it’s because I’m free labor for her house flipping business, which is her retirement hobby.
I’m now at a point where I’m working on either completing cars and selling them or selling some of them as is, hopefully running, projects so I can cull the herd down to just a couple of project cars at a time plus a rotating small collection of four or so cars for driving, rallies and car shows. I think my initial collection will include at least two Alfas, a Lancia and a Porsche. The current list includes four Alfas (Spider, GTV, GTV6 and 164LS), two Sunbeams, five Lancias, two Porsches and two classic Volvos. I’m hoping to take some of the money from selling off some cars to build a car barn where I can store the collection and work on the projects. My daily driver and tow vehicle is a 2004 F250 Turbodiesel. I’m hoping to make the GTV6 my somewhat daily driver once I get it finished.