European lawsuit alleges GM ‘lied’ about emissions

by Charles Miller

The French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen has filed a €500 million ($590 million) lawsuit against General Motors over allegations that they “lied” about vehicle emissions. The lawsuit is the latest emissions allegation against GM, which is also facing lawsuits in the U.S. over charges of emissions cheating on Chevrolet and GMC Duramax diesel trucks.

According to the lawsuit, the PSA Group paid €1.3 million ($1.53 million) earlier this year to buy the European auto brands Opel and Vauxhall from GM. However, PSA alleges that during negotiations for the sale, GM was misleading about how Opel and Vauxhall planned to meet European emissions targets.

According to Carlos Tavares, the CEO of the PSA Group, GM had “no plan for meeting European requirements” for emissions with Opel and Vauxhall vehicles. Failure to meet European CO2 emissions targets could result in annual fines of hundreds of millions of Euros, which Tavares said “can threaten the company’s existence.”

Environmental regulations in the European Union require automakers to lower the CO2 emissions of vehicles sold in Europe from a maximum of 130g/kg of CO2 to 95g/kg by 2021. Automakers who failed to meet these requirements will be fined €95 ($112) per vehicle for each gram over the EU emissions limits.

The PSA Group has calculated that Opel and Vauxhall cars would exceed the EU’s emissions threshold by about 10 grams per vehicle, or a total fine of €950 ($1,120) per car. With millions of Opel and Vauxhall vehicles sold each year, the total annual fines for failing to meet EU emissions limits could stretch into the billions of Euros per year.

The PSA Group says that during its negotiations to purchase Opel and Vauxhall, GM spoke of only a “slight overshoot” regarding the EU’s emissions limits. Tavares says that as a result of GM’s alleged deception, PSA will have to redevelop Opel and Vauxhall to utilize its clean engine technology by 2024.

Allegations of Emissions Cheating Against GM in the U.S.

GM is facing lawsuits in the U.S. over allegations of emissions cheating on its Chevrolet and GMC Duramax diesel models. According to these lawsuits, GM installed an emissions “defeat device” on the 2011-2016 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD and 3500 HD Duramax diesel truck models. This defeat device was allegedly designed to conceal the excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions levels of these truck models, about four to five times the EPA maximum level.

In May 2017, a class action lawsuit was filed against GM on behalf of drivers who own or lease the Chevy and GMC truck models affected by the company’s alleged emissions cheating. Since then, more lawsuits have been filed by individual truck owners who allege that they were misled by GM over the performance and fuel efficiency of their vehicles.

Emissions Cheating Lawsuits Against GM Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you own or lease a Chevy or GMC Duramax diesel truck affected by GM’s alleged emissions cheating, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal actions is to consult with an experienced attorney to learn more about your legal rights.

For more information about the emissions cheating lawsuits against GM and to find out whether you may qualify to file a claim, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few short questions about your vehicle to get started.


Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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by Charles Miller

Charles Miller is a licensed attorney and a partner at Heygood, Orr & Pearson. Charles focuses his practice on areas of complex commercial litigation and personal injury litigation.