18.5.2017EU starts legal case against Italy over Fiat Chrysler emissions
The European Union has started legal proceedings against Italian authorities, accusing them of failing to respond properly to allegations that the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) group has cheated emissions tests. The claims were made in the fallout from the VW Emissions Scandal.
EU officials believe that Italian regulators have been slow to act and that FCA models were not re-tested by the country's vehicle transportation authority. That's despite investigations into models from other manufacturers were carried out after the emissions scandal broke.
FCA - which includes manufacturers such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Chrysler and Jeep - hasn't been formally accused of any wrongdoing, even though claims have been made that defeat devices have been used to cheat emissions tests on group models.
The European Commission statement said: "Under current EU law, national authorities are responsible for checking that a car type meets all EU standards before individual cars can be sold on the Single Market.
"When a car manufacturer breaches the legal requirements, national authorities must take corrective action (such as ordering a recall) and apply effective, dissuasive and proportionate penalties laid out in national legislation.
"EU type approval legislation bans defeat devices such as software, timers or thermal windows which lead to higher NOx emissions outside of the test cycle, unless they can be justified by the need to protect the engine against damage or accident, or for the safe operation of the vehicle
"The Commission is 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, and to clarify whether Italy has failed to meet its obligation to adopt corrective measures regarding the FCA type in question and to impose penalties on the car manufacturer."
The Italian Government has two months to respond to the infringement procedure to prevent the issue going to court.