Saturday

22nd Sep 2018

Commission expands legal action to Italy over Dieselgate

  • Germany is worried that a Fiat model, not the one pictured, is more polluting on the road than during the test, because of an illegal defeat device (Photo: Teresa Kluge)

The European Commission told Italy on Wednesday (17 May) that it needs to do more to make sure diesel cars produced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) adhere to EU pollution limits.

The commission is concerned Italy took “insufficient action” and opened a so-called infringement procedure against Italy. It could eventually lead to the country being fined by the Court of Justice of the EU.

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 case revolves around a type of diesel car produced by FCA, an Italian-US company, which the German transport ministry said contained illegal software that made the car appear cleaner in the official test than it was in actual road use – a so-called defeat device.

Italy denied the allegation that a Fiat 500X contained a defeat device, leading Germany to ask the EU commission to mediate between the two sides last September.

In March, the commission closed the mediation process, but without determining definitively whether the car contained an illegal defeat device or not.

Neither the Italian nor the German ministries ever responded to requests for clarification from EUobserver.

The EU commission is now asking Italy to prove that the defeat device, which may be allowed under exceptional circumstances, is really necessary.

The announcement followed previous infringement procedures that the commission already opened against seven other member states last December.

Most notably, it said that Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, and the UK had broken EU law by not fining Volkswagen Group (VW) for diesel cars with illegal defeat devices. These four countries were the ones in which VW had acquired its car approvals.

Meanwhile, discussions are still ongoing on how to improve the car approval system.

The European Parliament last month sided with the EU commission, saying that it wanted to make the system more European. However, member states initially appeared reluctant.

Sources close to the Council of the EU – where the representatives of member states meet – say that enough progress has been made for the file to move to the level of ministers, at their meeting in Brussels on 29 May.

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”.

Focus

EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo

A long-standing cooperation between the EU and China on carbon capture and storage has fallen off the political agenda – with the European Commission not having any comment available when asked for an update.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us