Auto emissions 'cheatware' scandal sparks war of words between Italy, Germany

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

In his Bild am Sonntag interview, Dobrindt said regulators in Italy "have known for several months that Fiat, in the opinion of our experts, uses illegal shut-off devices", and that the company has "refused to participate in the clarification" of the matter.

"We have repeatedly asked Italy to present us with convincing responses as soon as possible", the spokesperson said, commenting non the process of mediation between Italy and Germany over the Fiat 500X's compatibility with European car-emission legislation.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said it will be running tests on the Fiat Chrysler's Jeep Grand Cherokee model in the wake of emissions accusations from the US.

Fiat Chrysler has denied any wrongdoing in response to the EPA claims.

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A row has again broken out between Germany and Italy over vehicle emissions. The EPA said it was investigating whether the software can be classified as a form of "defeat device", which would be illegal.

Last Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) of violating the Clean Air Act by installing software that allowed some of its diesel trucks to register lower levels of pollutants.

Fiat Chrysler has denied any wrongdoing and, after Italy rejected Germany's allegations a year ago, the German government asked the European Commission to mediate in the dispute. Italy's transport ministry said that it did the essential checks and sent an accurate answer to the German authorities which demonstrates that the Fiat 500X, rather than what is guaranteed by Germany, is in consistency with its regulations.

It also added that the European Commission does not appear to have conducted any tests of its own that would confirm the German allegations. An EU official has told Reuters that the Commission had taken emissions measurements on one rented Fiat 500X model. However, Rome rejected the Commission's allegations that are kept on dragging its feet in the case, as it always acknowledges to demands from Brussels in a reliable way.