German Transport Minister calls EU to recall FCA vehicles

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Germany's Transport Minister is demanding that rule-breaking Fiat Chryslers should be taken off the market after recent pollution discrepancies, reported Bild am Sonntag.

Alexander Dobrindt asked the European Commission to ensure cars built by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that are breaking European emissions laws were taken out of market circulation as they were using 'illegal shut-off devices'.

Bild am Sonntag quoted Dobrindt saying: "The Italian authorities have known for several months that Fiat, in the opinion of our experts, uses illegal shut-off devices. Fiat has so far refused to participate in the clarification [of the matter and the commission] must consequently ensure that a recall is organized for the Fiat vehicles."

Italy's Deputy Transport Minister Riccardo Nencini retaliated by saying that the "insistence of the German government after the responses given by the Italian ministry is incomprehensible" and that the Italian government is already working with the European Commission to resolve the issues.

German authorities and the European Commission have voiced serious concerns over emissions results from the Fiat 500X and other models, after they were found to be fitted with shut-off devices that throttles back during government testing.

Spokesperson for the European Commission, Svenja Friedrich, said: "We have repeatedly asked Italian authorities to come forward with convincing answers as soon as possible.

"The EU Commission is now doing exactly what has been demanded for a long time: it's talking again with the Italians."

FCA is already under investigation from the U.S. Justice Department for its alleged failure to reveal software that falsified emissions results, after American authorities found 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s were fitted with such software to surpass pollution limits.

In response to the allegations in the US, FCA said: "Every auto manufacturer must employ various strategies to control tailpipe emissions in order to balance EPA's (Environment Protection Agency) regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency. FCA US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements.

"FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company's diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements."

Written by Jack Healy