Emissions Scandal : Fiat- Chrysler are the latest suspects

In the wake of recent emission scandal events where Auto giants like Volkswagen, Mitsubishi and Maruti were found guilty of using cheat devices to pass emission tests in a fraudulent manner, Now it looks like Fiat-Chrysler are being suspected by the German regulator that they have used illegal software to cheat on emission tests in a similar fashion.

Voicing their suspicion, A report had been sent by The German Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA) to the European Commission and to the Italian authorities, according to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

Germany was not very happy with the Uncooperative attitude shown by Fiat-Chrysler (FCA Group) and the way they handled the situation.

The German authorities had launched a emissions probe after Volkswagen admitted last year to rigging its engines with the defeat devices to cheat the emission tests. Not only VW, but other major car brands like Mitsubishi, Maruti, including Fiat-Chrysler showed up inconsistencies in their respective tests.

The German Newspaper, Bild am Sonntag reported that testing by the The German Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA) of a Fiat model had shown that the emission control system shuts down after 22 minutes. The Standard emission test duration is for 24 minutes.

This had caused the hazardous pollutant nitrogen oxide (NOX) which gets released into the atmosphere at more than 10 times the permitted level, stated the report according to the German newspaper.

The probe which was carried out on the emission values of all vehicle models plying  on German tarmac found that of out of the 53 models tested, An alarming 22 models emitted high nitrogen oxide values and had a technical defeat device in place that raised doubts and questions.

The models in particular have the cheat/defeat devices that, under specific temperatures, switch off their emission systems that are meant to remove the hazardous nitrogen oxide from a cars exhaust. In a Similar Fashion, Mercedes also had it’s ‘Bluetec’ emission system switch off under cold temperatures.

The specific systems for cleaning the pollutants are deactivated at very low temperatures to protect engines, which is as is allowed by the EU regulations, but there was no clarity on whether some car makers had used this provision to break the rules.

The German Federal Motor Vehicle Office (KBA) had finally concluded that there was “enough evidence of a vetoed emission defeat device being added in the car” said the German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag.

The FCA group had earlier suddenly cancelled their meeting with the German regulators by sending a letter from their lawyer. The German regulator were to meet and question the FCA group about it’s emission standards and whether they were following the rules properly. The carmaker had declined to meet as it deemed that the Italian officials were the only people in authority to be responsible on the question of whether their vehicles adhering with the existing emissions regulations, the ministry said.

“This uncooperative attitude of Fiat is completely incomprehensible,” said the Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt.

Author: Abhinandhan


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