The German Transport Ministry asked the European Commission and Italian authorities to take a look at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder because testing indicated the powerplant contained an emissions defeat device. According to Reuters, the letter to the European Commission alleged the mill contained the “illegal use of a device to switch off exhaust treatment systems."
In the wake of Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, environmental regulators around the world began taking a closer look for similar defeat devices. When German authorities tested this 2.0-liter engine, which is available in the Fiat 500X, Doblo, and Jeep Renegade, they allegedly found the exhaust treatment system shut off after about 22 minutes, Automotive News Europe reported. This looked suspicious because the normal evaluation period for these mills was 20 minutes. However, Italian regulators didn’t find evidence of any cheating when it tested the same powerplant.
The German authorities reportedly tried to address the problem directly with their Italian counterparts earlier this year, but the discussions apparently didn’t go satisfactorily. Now, Germany wants the European Commission to resolve the dispute.
FCA has consistently denied the presence of defeat devices on its vehicles. The company even released a statement shortly after VW’s scandal broke where the company assured customers that the models meet “all applicable testing and nitrogen oxides emission requirements.”
The German Transport Ministry’s allegations aren’t the first claims that the Fiat diesel might have a defeat device, though. A firm called Emissions Analytics released a report in April that the 500X’s nitrogen oxide emissions were 12 times the official limit. The group did these tests on real roads, rather than in the lab.
If the KBA gets its way, the organization would likely request FCA recall the vehicles and repair the problem. For example, the organization requested fixes for 630,000 diesel cars from Volkswagen, Opel, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche that updated their emissions management software.