European carmarker shares fell across the board Wednesday as investors continued to count the potential litigation costs linked to investigations that some manufacturers sought to evade government emissions standards in diesel-powered cars and trucks.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Automobiles and Parts index was marked 1.03% lower at 560.33 points by 11:45 CET, extending its decline over the past two weeks to more than 4.6%.
Daimler AG (DDAIY) were one of the region's biggest declines, with shares falling 1.74% in Frankfurt to extend the two-day decline past 4.25% after the luxury carmarker said Tuesday that German authorities searched the company's offices in Stuttgart as part of an ongoing probe into emissions manipulation.
In Milan, shares of Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) - Get Report were also on the back foot, falling nearly 1% in Milan after the U.S. Department of Justice said it is suing the Italian-American automaker over illegal emissions' management technology found in its vehicles.
The DoJ has filed a civil complaint alleging that Fiat failed to disclose engine management software found in its vehicles, at the certification stage, and that the engine feature in question does constitute a so called defeat device. Defeat devices are designed to mislead regulators over the true emissions' output of an engine when vehicles are tested in lab conditions.
European investors have grow increasing concerned over the potentials costs of probes in France, Germany, the broader European Union and the United States this year after the Volkswagen AG (VLKAY) "Dieselgate" scandal of so-called "cheat devices", first revealed in September 2015, eventually cost the world's biggest carmaker more than $4.3 billion in U.S. civil and criminal penalities.
Carmakers in France, where authorities opened an emissions-violation investigation into Peugeot SA (PUGOY) last month, were also under pressure Wednesday, with the market of Peugeot and Citroen cars down 1.06% at €18.07 each, extending their decline to more than 4.7% since prosecutors in Paris revealed the probe on April 24.
The investigation could be similar in scope to one that French authorities opened into Renault SA (RNLSY) earlier this year, possibly at the behest of officials in Brussels, who have been pressing national regulators to crack down on nitrogen-oxide emissions in member states. Renault shares were marked 0.78% lower at 11:45 CET in Paris and changing hands at €85.15 each