Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Fiat Chrysler shares drop on US diesel emissions probe

A woman walks past a logo of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Turin A woman walks past a logo of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Turin
Nellie Chapman | 19 May, 2017, 06:51

FCA's troubles began last November, when US owners of Ram diesel pickups from model years 2007 to 2014 filed suit, claiming that their trucks were equipped with defeat devices like the ones found on more than 11 million Volkswagen vehicles.

According to Automotive News, a lawsuit could be filed as early as this week seeking damages for FCA's alleged use of a defeat device in its vehicles fit with the 3.0-liter diesel engine.

The automaker faces a hearing next Wednesday in a class action lawsuit in California filed by vehicle owners that accuses the company of using so-called defeat devices, which disable pollution controls to enhance performance. The EPA says that FCA's failure to disclose the presence of the questionable code was itself a violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act, no matter the software's intent.

The company said it "will defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the company deliberately installed defeat devices to cheat USA emissions tests".

At the heart of the argument against FCA is that some of their models shut off the core diesel-emissions controls on the Fiat Doblo and 500X and the Jeep Renegade after 22 minutes, when the official emissions test takes just seconds less than that.

Armed with a newfound enthusiasm for independently testing cars for emissions, it was the KBU that reported both the Italian government and FCA to the EU's investigatory body in the first place. The probe has turned up internal emails written in Italian and other documents about engine development and emissions issues, sources briefed on the probe said.

The European Commission launched legal action against Italy on Wednesday for failing to respond to allegations of emission-test cheating by Fiat Chrysler FCHA.MI , in a procedure that could lead to the country being taken to court.

In February, FCA said it had received requests for information and subpoenas from USA federal and state authorities, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, for diesel issues. The German carmaker admitted to cheating on emissions and agreed to pay up to $25 billion in the United States alone.