Tuesday

17th Sep 2019

Investigation

Much remains unclear after German-Italian spat on Fiat

  • Germany accused Fiat of having equipped its Fiat 500X with an illegal defeat device. It's unclear if Germany stands behind its allegations, or if Italy ceded it was wrong to deny them. (Photo: drpavloff)

The European Commission has concluded a mediation case between Germany and Italy about suspicious emissions behaviour of a Fiat diesel model this week.

According to commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet, the two sides “have found a common understanding on the need for Fiat to take measures” to reduce the level of dangerous nitrogen oxides emissions from its 500X 2 litre diesel model.

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Italy also provided Germany sufficient information about a “services campaign” which the Italian car company began in 2016.

However, there is apparently no decision if the Fiat 500X contained an illegal defeat device to fool official emissions tests.

Last year, Germany accused Fiat of having equipped its Fiat 500X with an illegal defeat device. Italy disagreed.

But it is unclear if Germany stands behind its allegations, or if Italy ceded it was wrong to deny them.

Germany's transport ministry, which issued the accusation, did not respond to a request for comment, neither did Italy's counterpart ministry, responsible for granting the certificates to Fiat to sell the model in question.

The mediation procedure at EU level was only about Germany's request for more information from Italy.

“The dissent concerned the remedial action needed – the actual conformity of the FIAT 500X Diesel with EU type-approval rules was not subject of the mediation procedure,” said Caudet.

Fiat denied it undertook a recall with the Fiat 500X model in February 2016, insisting that the tweaks to its cars are called a “service campaign”.

Meanwhile, other carmakers have also come under renewed scrutiny this week.

German police raided Audi factories and offices on Wednesday, to find out more about the role the Volkswagen Group (VW) daughter company played in the emissions fraud that came to light in September 2015.

According to American prosecutors, Audi played a crucial role in developing the cheating software that was later rolled out across VW.

German authorities also raided the office of law firm Jones Day, which had been hired by VW to investigate how the emissions fraud could have happened.

The same day, French newspaper Liberation published a report saying France's anti-fraud agency suspected Renault of falsifying emissions tests. Renault has denied any wrongdoing.

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Unpublished report: Italy's Fiat had high emissions

An Italian report triggered by the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal finds Fiat cars emitting more than double the EU limit. The report was finished in July, but has not been made public.

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The EU Commission has kept results of an emissions test of a Porsche diesel vehicle secret for months, at the request of the German car company - which was fined €535m for its role in the Dieselgate scandal.

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