PARIS - Peugeot has reacted to claims that its new 607 may be unsafe by taking out full-page advertisements in French newspapers.
In the advertisements, PSA Chairman Jean-Martin Folz assures potential customers the 607 will not be launched until any chassis problems have been fixed.
Two French car magazines - Auto Plus and L'Auto-Journal -said their tests seriously questioned the 607's handling.
According to Auto Plus, three versions of the 607 were put through slalom, moose avoidance and deceleration-in-a-bend tests.
It reported: 'The 607 immediately responds with a strong, rear-wheel-axle slide. In such circumstances, the car unveils a surprising predisposition to start spinning around.'
Only V-6 versions of the 607 are equipped with an electronic stability system, but even that is not enough to correct the car's rear sliding problem, claim the car magazines.
L'Auto-Journal reported: 'The car clearly tended to skid from the rear' and 'performed very badly' during a moose avoidance test.
It concluded: 'Peugeot must correct this flaw before the launch in May, even if it means delaying (the launch).'
On March 8, all of France's main daily newspapers carried advertisements which said: 'The 607 will be faultless' - signed by Folz.
'We did this to explain to our customers that there was a problem, but also the whole group was committed to fix it,' said Liliane Lacourt, PSA's vice president for corporate communications.