BRUSSELS Jan 12 The European Commission on
Thursday called on Italy to provide proof against Germany's
allegation that Fiat Chrysler used illegal exhaust
emissions defeat devices, stepping up pressure on the group amid
accusations against it in the U.S.
Germany has asked the EU executive to mediate its dispute
with Italy, which rejected its allegations of hidden software on
the Fiat 500X, Fiat Doblo and Jeep Renegade models that allowed
excess diesel emissions.
Germany's motor vehicle authority KBA began testing the
vehicles of several manufacturers, including Fiat Chrysler,
after Volkswagen's admission of cheating on
An EU source said that testing carried out on one Fiat 500X
vehicle at the EU's own vehicle testing laboratory north of
Milan showed suspicious emissions behaviour.
Fiat Chrysler declined to comment.
The German KBA motor vehicle authority had previously said
it found a device that throttles back the models' exhaust
purification system after 22 minutes - just longer than official
Fiat Chrysler said at the time that its cars conform to
current emissions rules and do not contain defeat devices.
In a sign of mounting frustration in Brussels over what EU
officials see as governments colluding with the powerful car
industry, the Commission said it was now up to Italian
authorities to prove no wrongdoing.
"The German authorities have expressed serious concerns,"
Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet told Reuters. "We have
repeatedly asked Italian authorities to come forward with
convincing answers as soon as possible."
An EU official said Brussels shares Germany's concerns.
The Commission expects to conclude the Italian, German talks
on Fiat Chrysler's compliance in coming weeks but it has little
power to enforce a settlement.
In a system the Commission is now seeking to overhaul,
national watchdogs approve new cars and alone have the power to
police manufacturers - though once approved in one country,
vehicles can be sold across the bloc.
As part of a widening clampdown on health-threatening
nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution levels in the wake of the VW
scandal, the Commission in December began legal action against
Germany, Britain and five other EU member states for failing to
police emissions test cheating.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday accused
Fiat Chrysler of illegally using hidden software in several
vehicles to allow excess diesel emissions to go
(Additional reporting by Agnieszka Flak in Milan; Editing by