Thursday

24th Jan 2019

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”.

News in Brief

  1. Greek parliament to vote on Macedonia name deal
  2. Media cut ties to reporter who plagiarised EU stories
  3. Cyprus to host southern EU summit next week
  4. 'Yellow Vest' protesters to run list in EU elections
  5. Barnier: No-deal preparations 'more important than ever'
  6. Commission offers no-deal Brexit help to EU fisheries
  7. OECD: France and Belgium top social spending
  8. Study: Tax evasion cost five time as much as EU budget

Stakeholder

COP24 Nordic Pavilion: sharing climate solutions with the world

The Nordic Pavilion at COP24 is dedicated to dialogue – TalaNordic – about key themes regarding the transition to a low-carbon society, such as energy, transport, urban futures, the circular economy and green financing.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. EU: Italy's choice to end or continue Operation Sophia
  2. European Space Force should only be for defence, says MEP
  3. The demise of the INF treaty: can the EU save arms control?
  4. Stymied on 'golden passports', EU sets up expert group
  5. Tajani wants second term as EU parliament president
  6. EU commissioner floats idea for European space force
  7. France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty
  8. May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us