Italy Allowed Fiat Chrysler to Skip Diesel Emissions Tests

The Italian government's post-Dieselgate investigation into emissions cheating gave FCA a way to evade the tests, according to a new report. 

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They had the home field advantage. Italian investigators allowed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to bypass emissions tests instigated in the wake of the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal, according to a report from Italy's transportation ministry sourced by Reuters.

The report, according to Reuters, was originally presented to a European commission in October 2016, but was never formally published. The findings included full data sets for diesel vehicles made by the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen, but lacked both some on-road testing data for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Lancia Ypsilon, and Jeep Cherokee, according to Reuters.  The three models also reportedly lacked data from a test designed to sniff out emissions defeat devices by adjusting the traditional European Union lab-based emissions test to more realistically reflect urban driving.

News of Italian authorities letting Fiat Chrysler skip come after French concerns

The news comes just one day after French authorities announced they might open an investigation into FCA after investigators in that country allegedly caught diesel-powered Jeep and Fiat models expelling unlawful levels of nitrogen oxide. 

A FCA spokesperson told Reuters the company denied wrongdoing, but was looking forward to working with French authorities to resolve the allegations. The spokesperson also said the French tests did not correspond with similar ones conducted by the Italian transportation ministry. 

The findings come on the heels of the Environmental Protection Agency's January allegation that FCA had installed defeat devices designed to circumvent emissions limits in more than 100,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models sold in America in the previous three model years. FCA has vehemently denied that report.