German authorities have accused Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) of installing an illegal emissions defeat device in some of its models.
The German Motor Vehicle Authority (KBA) made the discovery while performing routine tests in which cars from several manufacturers were examined. The results showed that the Fiat 500X (pictured), the Fiat Doblo (which is sold as the Ram Promaster City on our shores), and the Jeep Renegade might use an illegal defeat device similar in concept to the one that was fitted to millions of Volkswagens and Audis, among other brands, all over the world.
The pollution-reducing system in the three aforementioned models shuts off after the engine has been running for about 22 minutes. That means that it stays on long enough to fool authorities, because an official emissions test only lasts approximately 20 minutes. The KBA hasn’t revealed which engine(s) it found evidence of a defeat device in, so it’s too early to tell whether cars sold in the United States could be affected.
The KBA has urged the European Commission to investigate the matter with the help of Italian authorities. However, the Commission responded that Germany needs to work directly with Italy before asking its members to get involved.
“It is first and foremost a dialogue between the two member states concerned, with an obligation to keep the Commission informed and the possibility for the Commission to facilitate a solution if no agreement can be found,” explained the Commission in a statement obtained by Reuters.
Italy’s equivalent to the KBA stated that it hasn’t heard from its German counterpart yet. The agency added that it has already rigorously tested the Fiat 500 and never found evidence of illegal software, though it made no mention of the 500X, the Doblo, or the Renegade. FCA asserted that the accusations were unfounded, and that all of its cars comply with emissions regulations without resorting to illegal devices.
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