Fiat-Chrysler may not sell many diesel-powered vehicles in the United States, but in Europe, the land of expensive gas, they are a staple of any carmaker’s fleet. But Fiat’s diesel sales are in jeopardy as the German Transport Ministry has threatened to ban all Fiat diesels over a suspected cheat device.
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that the ministry found a suspected cheat device, in this case emissions test tampering software, in a few Fiat models. The software allegedly deactivates the emissions controls after 22 minutes of operation, or two minutes after the emissions test completes.
The ban comes after Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt asked FCA representatives to speak in front of a committee but failed to appear. FCA said that their cars meet European Union regulations for vehicle emissions.
EU law states that cars need to be homologated in their home country to meet the requirements. Fiats are homologated in Italy, so technically they are homologated in the EU.
FCA’s stock dropped five percent after the report.
If the cheat device is indeed present, FCA will be yet another automaker embroiled in a diesel emissions cheating scandal. Volkswagen’s own emissions cheating will cost the company billions of dollars. Mercedes-Benz is also involved in a lawsuit over potential emissions cheating on their BlueTec diesel engines.
What do you think about companies cheating on diesel emissions? Does it spell the death knell for the oil-burner? Start the conversation in the comments below.
Check out this TFLcar off-road video of the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel taking on Gold Mine Hill: