Fiat Chrysler angrily rejects accusations from the US EPA it used emissions cheating software. But as Ciara Lee reports, European carmakers are increasingly being drawn into widening investigations into a scandal that has already seen VW pay out billions of dollars.
Bail denied. Now awaiting trial, the judge said Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt was a potential flight risk Schmidt is one of six current and former VW executives charged this week in the U.S. for fraud relating to the emissions scandal. If found guilty of the eleven charges, he could face life in prison. Senior VW managers have been warned not to travel to the U.S., legal and company sources told Reuters. VW has admitted to criminal offences in rigging U.S. emissions tests, and agreed to pay 4.3 billion dollars in civil and criminal fines. Shareholder pressure is now mounting for reforms and a review of executive bonuses. But some feel the worst could actually be over. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RABOBANK, SENIOR CURRENCY STRATEGIST, JANE FOLEY, SAYING: "There is the potential that this would affect their reputation, but actually if we look at car sales from VW over the course of last year, they were actually pretty decent. So from that point of view it is actually possible that VW are already getting over the impact of this scandal." But VW's admission has sparked a global push to combat excessive pollution and intense scrutiny of the carmakers. Fiat Chrysler also now in the spotlight. Claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it also violated emissions laws. It's accused of not disclosing the use of certain software. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS COLUMNIST, OLAF STORBECK, SAYING: "Fiat has the opportunity to convince U.S. regulators that it has a meaningful purpose. Carmakers are allowed to use these devices to avoid damage in cold temperatures and when starting the engine, but they have to disclose those devices." More European carmakers have also been drawn in. Reports that France had launched an investigation into possible cheating on exhaust emissions at Renault prompted its shares to fall more than four percent.