Monday

19th Nov 2018

Italy plays down US diesel probe into Fiat Chrysler's Jeep

  • The Jeep Grand Cherokee has a different engine calibration in the EU, say Italian authorities (Photo: Petr Magera)

A Jeep diesel model that is under scrutiny in the United States for violating rules on emissions is not affected in Europe, according to the Italian ministry for infrastructure and transport.

Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US issued a notice of violation for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Ram 1500, made by the Italian-American car company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The EPA had not found clear emissions cheating of the type Volkswagen admitted to, but said that Fiat Chrysler had not properly reported the way its emissions filter system worked.

Only the Jeep Grand Cherokee is sold on the European market.

“This vehicle is fitted with a 3.0 diesel engine which is also fitted on the US version, but with a different engine calibration,” said Luisa Gabbi, spokeswoman for the Italian ministry responsibly for certifying and approving cars for the EU market.

“Therefore, the EU emission type approval granted by the Italian Approval Authority (the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport) is not affected.”

Gabbi, in an email to EUobserver, also noted that the EPA had not informed the ministry about the notice of violation. Officials learned about the affair in the press.

However, a spokesman for the Dutch type approval authority RDW, which also approves Fiat Chrysler cars, told EUobserver that it had received a message from EPA on the same day as the notice was issued.

Fiat Chrysler meanwhile has always denied it has acted against the law.

It has already been accused of emissions cheating by the German car approval authority, the Federal Motor Transport Agency (KBA).

According to the KBA, a Fiat diesel model reduced the effectiveness of its emissions filtering system after 22 minutes – a suspicious behaviour considering the official approval test is 20 minutes.

Italy disputes the accusation, and a commission-led mediation between the two is ongoing.

“We expect to meet again at the beginning of February and to provide the Commission with our findings proving that the FCA cars involved are fully in conformity with the EU legislation,” said Gabbi.

Interpretation

Despite common EU legislation, national authorities sometimes have very different interpretation of what constitutes an illegal defeat device – the official term for an emissions cheating system.

Many carmakers have used defeat devices, but claim that they are needed to protect the engine, which is the only exception allowed under EU law.

The European Commission last year said that, while the law is clear, it would publish guidelines that should help approval authorities determine if defeat devices are illegal.

A commission source told EUobserver that these legal guidelines would be ready on Thursday (26 January).

Meanwhile, the Dutch RDW is also investigating suspicious emissions behaviour in Fiat Chrysler cars.

“That has nothing to do with the EPA case,” an RDW spokesman told EUobserver. “It concerns a different type of engine.”

He said RDW is in talks with Fiat Chrysler and other car companies for which the authority registered “non-standard” emissions behaviour in a report published last autumn.

Magazine

Dieselgate: The year that went up in smoke

The outrage at Volkswagen's industrial-scale emissions cheating has not subsided, but the EU and Germany have done little to punish the automaker or provide compensation to its customers.

Investigation

Fiat questions 'fantastical' EU emissions tests

Italian-American car maker Fiat had "no explanations" for tests showing its cars polluted above EU limits when questioned by MEPs, described some tests as “fantastical”.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland extradites Polish man despite rule of law concerns
  2. Germany and France agree eurozone budget framework
  3. Austrian foreign minister: EU's Israel policy 'too strict'
  4. Soros and Kurz discuss Central European University move
  5. EU set to tighten rules on foreign strategic investment
  6. Macron repeats call for unified Europe in Bundestag speech
  7. US warns EU banks and firms against trading with Iran
  8. Merkel urged Romania not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Opinion

Crunch time to end overfishing in the EU

What happens when a difficult deadline hits? This is precisely what is being played out in EU fisheries as we approach the landmark legal commitment under the Common Fisheries Policy to end overfishing by 2020.

Opinion

No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected

Following the 2030 renewable target of 32 percent, chair of the European Parliament's environment committee Adina Valean argues in order to reach our climate and energy goals, we need both public and private investment over the next decade and beyond.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Whistleblower: Danske Bank gag stops me telling more
  2. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  3. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges
  4. Dutch flesh out proposal for EU human rights sanctions
  5. EU cheerleaders go to Russia-occupied Ukraine
  6. EU must recognise new force for Balkans destabilisation
  7. Brexit dominates EU affairs This WEEK
  8. How the EU commission got tunnel vision on self-driving cars

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us