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Dutch regulators order Suzuki to report over alleged emissions fraud

This April 19, 2019 photo shows the head office of Suzuki Motor Corp. in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Suzuki Motor Corp. said Friday it has received an order from Dutch automobile regulators to report on alleged diesel emission falsifications on its sport utility vehicles.

The regulators suspect that the Japanese automaker used improperly modified software to control the diesel engines of its Vitara and S-Cross models and made the vehicles look as if they emitted less nitrogen oxide than they actually do, the company said.

Suzuki updated software on the engines from November 2016 and the authorities concluded the following year that there was no problem with the updating. But they changed their view in a report provided to Suzuki in November last year, the company said.

The engines had been supplied by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. Suzuki no longer produces the two SUV models, it said.

Suzuki plans to respond to the authorities' order by mid-February.

Among other Japanese carmakers, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., a member of a three-way alliance with Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co., faced similar allegations this week, with German prosecutors searching premises related to the company.

The emissions scandal first emerged in 2015 following investigations by the prosecutors into cases linked to Volkswagen AG and other German carmakers.

In Japan on Friday, the transport ministry ordered Mitsubishi Motors to report on whether it has similar problems with the diesel-powered vehicles it sold in the country. The ministry has also held a hearing with Suzuki on the issue.

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