Fiat Chrysler shares drop on US diesel emissions probe

Jon Howard
May 19, 2017

European Union officials and Fiat Chrysler, Reuters reports, had not been able to achieve an agreement over the issue, with one European Union source indicating that transport authorities in Italy have not provided information that justifies the use of alleged auxiliary emissions devices in these Fiat Chrysler models.

"In an official statement, the European Commission said "[We] are now formally asking Italy to respond to its concerns that the manufacturer has not sufficiently justified the technical necessity - and thus the legality - of the defeat device used".

Armed with a newfound enthusiasm for independently testing cars for emissions, it was the KBU that reported both the Italian government and FCA to the EU's investigatory body in the first place.

The EPA said that the software on those 104,000 pickups and SUVs appeared to generate different emissions levels when a vehicle was being tested compared to when it was on the road.

Now Italy has two months to respond to the EU's request. Frustrated with "collusion" EU officials have become increasingly frustrated with what they see as governments colluding with the powerful vehicle industry and the legal move is the biggest stick the European Commission has available to force nations to clamp down on diesel cars that spew out polluting nitrogen oxide (NOx).

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The European Commission had been mediating the dispute Germany and Italy, which ended in March.

"They [Italian authorities] still need to provide additional information that would convince us that the devices used in Fiat models are justified and can, therefore, be considered legal", an European Union source said.

Still, EU officials are not satisfied with the answers they have been getting from Italian authorities, with the legal action taken this week seen as a culmination of efforts to prevent national governments from shielding their automakers from EU oversight and sanctions.

Last December, the Commission launched cases against Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, for failing the accurately test and enforce emissions rules.

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