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Mitsubishi is under investigation over diesel cheating in Germany, report says

The Frankfurt prosecutor's office is investigating possible use of defeat devices as well as fraud.

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Will staff from the brand with the diamond star end up behind German bars?

Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow

Now you'd be forgiven for thinking that once Volkswagen's Dieselgate debacle hit the news back in 2015, that other manufacturers would take it as a wake-up call to make sure their diesel vehicles were up to snuff, emissions-wise -- but you'd be wrong.

Nearly every manufacturer of diesel-powered vehicles seems to have been caught out cheating by one regulatory body or another and the latest of these -- some five years after Dieselgate, mind you -- is Mitsubishi.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Frankfurt, Germany prosecutor's office had launched an investigation into the Japanese car-maker over claims that it -- like VW and so many others -- used a "defeat device" to detect when the vehicle was undergoing an emissions test and changed the way the car ran to clean up what came out of the tailpipe.

In addition to the implications for Mitsubishi of having used a defeat device, the German prosecutors have also turned their sights on at least one employee of the company over concerns of fraud, a dealership unit and even a pair of automotive suppliers.

In an interesting twist, it would appear that there is at least a possibility that some of the 1.6-liter diesel engines in question could have been supplied by the PSA Groupe in the period between 2015 and 2018, according to a report by Reuters. A PSA Groupe company representative is quoted as saying that, "At this stage, we do not know which vehicles or families of engines are targeted by the ongoing probe of Mitsubishi."

Even if PSA did supply the engines, it may or may not be responsible for the emissions malfeasance, as that has more to do with software than anything and it's unclear if Mitsubishi meddled with the engine computers or installed them as-is.

Mitsubishi, PSA or the Frankfurt prosecutor's office didn't immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment.

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Update, Jan. 22: Added new information about PSA Groupe's possible involvement in supplying engines to Mitsubishi.