A legal investigation was launched by Paris prosecutor into suspected cheating on exhaust emissions at carmaker Renault (RENA.PA), a source at the prosecutor’s office said on Friday.
Groupe Renault is a French multinational automobile manufacturer established in 1899.
In an initial reaction to the news Renault shares dropped strongly, which happens two months after the government passed to the prosecutor the findings of an investigation by its consumer fraud agency, the DGCCRF.
Three judges have been investigating the matter since Jan 12, the source said. Whether the prosecutor’s request is followed by a trial is for those judges to decide.
The Italian-American company assured that the issue shall be resolved by working with President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
The probe comes after another global auto maker, Fiat Chrysler, fell foul of U.S. environmental standards on Thursday. The company was charged with having hidden software on diesel trucks which then spewed out excess emissions.
“We are in line with what happened to Volkswagen in September 2015, to Renault in January 2016 and to Fiat lately: these are topics that are scary because they potentially mean extra costs for penalties,” Natixis analyst Georges Dieng stated via phonecall with Bloomberg .
“What is important from Renault’s point of view is that things can go fast, whatever the final decision is,” Dieng added. “This topic largely weighted on the performance of Renault in 2016, although its economic performances were very good.”