Fiat may be added to the list of automakers the German government is investigating for possible false reporting on diesel emissions.
German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that German regulators are investigating the emissions of a Fiat model equipped with a diesel engine. That investigation is based on suspicion that Fiat may be evading emissions tests.
The German government has found emissions discrepancies for several vehicles sold in that market after a broad range of tests were ordered following the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. While many vehicles were found to be polluting too much, the testing found that none of the companies were using a defeat device, meant specifically to trick emissions testers. Mercedes, Audi, Opel, Volkswagen and Porsche have announced a recall action that will see 630,000 vehicles brought in to fix their emissions management software.
Fiat may have taken a slightly different approach to pass through diesel emissions tests in Germany. VW has been accused of engineering “defeat devices” that detect steering, throttle, and other inputs used in government emissions tests to switch between two distinct operating modes. The Fiat model in question apparently just changes engine parameters for the first 22 minutes that it’s turned on while German emissions tests last about 20 minutes.
German supplier Bosch, which has partnered with several automakers on diesel cars, reportedly told German regulators that for that initial window period, exhaust filtering systems were effectively turned off in the Fiat model. With global attention on VW’s diesel emissions scandal, competitors such as Fiat, Daimler and its Mercedes brand, and General Motors’ Opel brand in Europe, are being pulled into the investigations.