DoJ May Sue Fiat Chrysler Over Diesel Emissions Violations

A woman walks past a logo of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Turin

"Italy now has two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission; otherwise, the Commission may decide to send a reasoned opinion", said the Commission on Wednesday. If it fails to do so, it could face legal action from the EU.

The EU on Wednesday launched infringement proceedings against Italy for failing to adequately investigate emissions cheating allegations against carmaker Fiat-Chrysler.

The Italian government, for its part, has repeatedly insisted that it had not found any illegal emissions software in these models following retesting efforts.

In March, the commission closed the mediation process, but without determining definitively whether the auto contained an illegal defeat device or not.

The production of the Dieselgate emissions-cheating Volkswagens began on the German Transport's watch, and it was the German Transport department (KBU) who discovered an alleged software switch, or Defeat Device, that lead to Fiat Chrysler products to emit more in the real world.

"They (Italian authorities) still need to provide additional information that would convince us that the devices used in Fiat models are justified and can therefore be considered legal", one European Union source said.

The FCA problems followed the scandal that erupted over Volkswagen's diesel emissions cheating.

Last December, the Commission launched cases against Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, for failing the accurately test and enforce emissions rules.

The notice is the first step in the EU's infringement procedure that ensures the bloc's 28 member states abide by EU-wide regulations.

Under the current system, which the European Commission is trying to overhaul, national regulators approve new cars and alone have the power to police manufacturers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January accused FCA (fcau) of illegally using undisclosed software to allow excess diesel emissions in about 104,000 cars and SUVs, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators' investigation of rival Volkswagen (vlkay).

The Commission's original proposal gives the executive new testing and enforcement powers, but does not pave the way for an European Union agency.

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