EU Commission Investigates Fiat and Italy over Emissions Scandal

In the legal hot seat. Picture source: Reuters

Europe’s executive has set its eyes on carmaker Fiat Chrysler and the Italian government in connection with unlawful emissions cheat devices, and will initiate proceedings against the government in Rome on Wednesday, Handelsblatt has learned.

The European Commission accuses Italy of ignoring the installation of so-called cheat devices to manipulate emission levels in diesel cars at automaker Fiat. No comment by Fiat or the Italian government was available.

Similar proceedings have already been kicked off in December, when the commission launched an investigation into seven EU member states, among them Germany, for failure to adequately punish Volkswagen for its diesel emissions scandal.

The German carmaker for years had manipulated its diesel emissions figures and to date has agreed to pay up to $25 billion in the United States alone to settle claims over its cheat devices.

Germany’s Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has frequently accused Fiat Chrysler of test cheating at its diesel engines unit, but the accusations were always rebuffed by the carmaker and the Italian government.

An attempted dispute settlement in front of the EU Commission in March led to no tangible agreement and Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the European commissioner for the single market, had reserved the right for further legal proceedings.


Till Hoppe reports on politics for Handelsblatt, with a focus on defense, domestic policy and cyber issues. To contact the author: hoppe@handelsblatt.com

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