US preparing to sue Fiat Chrysler over excess diesel emissions

Jay Anderson
May 18, 2017

"In an official statement, the European Commission said "[We] are now formally asking Italy to respond to its concerns that the manufacturer has not sufficiently justified the technical necessity - and thus the legality - of the defeat device used".

The Commission took action due to Italy failing to convince it that devices FCA had been using to modulate emissions outside of narrow testing conditions were legally sound and worthy of government approval.

The European Commission has been mediating a dispute between Rome and Berlin after Germany accused Fiat Chrysler of using an illegal device in its Fiat 500X, Fiat Doblo and Jeep Renegade models. Their use has come under renewed scrutiny following Volkswagen's admission that it used software in the United States to mask real-world NOx emissions, which are blamed for respiratory illnesses and early deaths.

The European Commission also said Wednesday that it has made a decision to refer Italy to the Court of Justice of the EU for breaching European law over a motorway concession contract.

Day-to-day regulation of the auto sector, including approving new vehicle models for the road, remains under the authority of national governments.

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Like other car-makers, FCA argued that it was allowed to utilise exemptions in the EU6 test cycle to protect engines or for safety.

The European Commission, the EU's legislative arm, late previous year opened cases against five countries, including Germany, Spain and Great Britain, for giving their vehicle industry's too much freedom. If it does not respond in time, or if its answer is found to be unconvincing, then Italy may be taken to the European Court of Justice.

The bill, approved on 4 April, will give the European Commission new powers to police manufacturers and allow it to fine companies up to €30,000 per vehicle if they are caught breaking the law.

On this case, Italy is accused by German authorities for NOx emissions, as European Union type approval legislation bans such devices such as software, timers or thermal windows which lead to higher NOx emissions outside of the test cycle.

Other reports by BadHub

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