Fiat Chrysler reportedly “rejects” French evidence over emissions cheating
Fiat Chrysler has rejected a report that says the car-maker could be facing 9.62 million Euros (£8.6 million) in fines for allegedly cheating French diesel emissions tests. Fiat strongly denies using defeat devices like those Volkswagen used to cheat emissions tests, which triggered the massive class action legal case we’re currently at the forefront of.
Fiat Chrysler claims that allegations being made against them have no basis, and that their vehicles comply with relevant laws.
The Italian company is keen to assert that it has not yet been formerly charged of any offences and is apparently fully co-operating with French authorities. The Directorate General for Competition and Repression of Fraud in France is reportedly conducting the investigations as well as the emissions probe into the company.
If Fiat is found guilty of aggravated fraud in France, it could face a maximum penalty fine of 10% of its global revenue, or as much as 9.62 million Euros. According to French newspaper, Le Monde, Fiat Chrysler has seen a total revenue of around 152 million in France from 2014 to 2016.
Fiat Chrysler argues that the motor industry has been swept by the Volkswagen scandal, triggering a witch-hunt into multiple car companies in search for similar emissions cheating. Fiat vehemently denies using the same emissions cheating devices as Volkswagen to manipulate NOx Emissions outputs in official testing, but they have reportedly indicated that they may have used some sort of ‘auxiliary device’ to control them, in order to protect the engine”.
The European Commission has voiced concern over the lack of action taken by member states in investigating emissions problems here in Europe. It opened an infringement procedure against the Italian government for its apparent “failure to fulfil its obligations” in testing and checking Fiat Chrysler cars.
It has been suggested that Italian regulators should have conducted adequate testing over the Italian-based company to check for excessive emissions outputs. It was also required to provide more clarity over the ‘auxiliary devices’ fitted into Fiat Chrysler cars.
Software that manipulates emissions is normally illegal, but in cases where it’s needed to protect the engine and for safety purposes, it can be allowed.
The Italian reaction has mostly been in favour of Fiat Chrysler. The Italian Transport Ministry’s tests apparently revealed no unauthorised devices were fitted in its vehicles. Graziano Delrio, the Italian Transportation Minister, agreed with Fiat Chrysler in noting that any software implemented to manipulate emissions was fitted to protect the engine.
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