Fiat is facing fresh allegations of emissions cheating, again from German authorities
3 April 2016

The German federal motor transport authority has been reported to have found another defeat device in a Fiat 500X, according to Reuters.

No details have been released by the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), but it is alleged that the defeat device switched off a filter after 90 minutes – just over an hour after the 20-minute emissions test procedure ended.

Fiat has been targeted with accusations of cheating since the Volkswagen dieselgate emissions scandal broke: this is the second round of accusations aimed at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) by the KBA in a year, with a previous accusation alleging that a different defeat device was in use.

An FCA spokesman said: "In response to the publication by Der Spiegel of rumours about KBA emissions tests and leaked internal KBA documents regarding the 500X, we can only reiterate that we believe that the 500X conforms to all applicable emissions requirements, a fact that has been verified and reconfirmed by the Italian Ministry of Transport."

The KBA's first accusation

A senior FCA executive has denied accusations that the company employed a cheat device to circumvent emissions tests.

Chief technical officer Harald Wester defended the firm against claims from German authorities that a diesel Fiat 500X used unauthorised software during emissions testing. The KBA made the accusation last May, saying the car’s engine management software switched off its exhaust treatment systems after 22 minutes, thus allowing it to pass Germany’s standard type approval test, which takes around 20 minutes to complete.

At a meeting of a European Parliament inquiry committee into emission measurements in the automotive sector (EMIS), Wester said he could not comment on the details as the matter is subject to mediation and litigation, but added: “The 500X meets the relevant Euro 6 limit in the regulatory NEDC test and does not detect that it is being tested.

“Contrary to allegations, the 500X does not deactivate its emission control system, but uses control strategies that modulate the emissions control system solely to protect the integrity of the engine and the safety of the vehicle occupants in accordance with applicable regulations.”

However, EMIS members asked for more details and challenged Wester on technical and legal definitions around his justification of such a modulation system.

Wester was also questioned about French tests that showed emissions up to 15 times greater than those claimed. He said he would need more data about test conditions to explain this.

The European parliamentary enquiry was set up in the wake of the Volkswagen dieselgate scandal and has been hearing from academic institutes, trade associations and non-governmental organisations since March.

Italian authorities have backed FCA against the German accusations and the European Commission is mediating between them. According to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, the German government is sticking to its guns. The German transport minister, Alexander Dobrindt, wrote to the European Union (EU) on 13 October to reaffirm his government’s view that FCA used an unauthorised switch-off device, the paper reported.

Phill Tromans

Our Verdict

Fiat 500X

Decent styling, a well-judged interior and good practicality means Fiat's 500X is a worthy entrant on your compact crossover shortlist

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Comments
8

21 October 2016
One thing is clear from all this that Europe bet on the wrong horse when they decided to give dirty diesel preference over petrol and other fuels. All evidence collected so far indicates that all diesel engines emit far more than toxic emissions than the car makers claim.

3 April 2017
fadyady wrote:

One thing is clear from all this that Europe bet on the wrong horse when they decided to give dirty diesel preference over petrol and other fuels. All evidence collected so far indicates that all diesel engines emit far more than toxic emissions than the car makers claim.

The Italians need to test every car by every German car maker. Then expose every car manufacturer caught lying to prove that payback is a b###h!

3 April 2017
fadyady wrote:

One thing is clear from all this that Europe bet on the wrong horse when they decided to give dirty diesel preference over petrol and other fuels. All evidence collected so far indicates that all diesel engines emit far more than toxic emissions than the car makers claim.

The Italians need to test every car by every German car maker. Then expose every car manufacturer caught lying to prove that payback is a b###h!

3 April 2017
fadyady wrote:

One thing is clear from all this that Europe bet on the wrong horse when they decided to give dirty diesel preference over petrol and other fuels. All evidence collected so far indicates that all diesel engines emit far more than toxic emissions than the car makers claim.

The Italians need to test every car by every German car maker. Then expose every car manufacturer caught lying to prove that payback is a b###h!

22 October 2016
Surely its the EU test at fault here. Firstly they demand a test which no one then compares to the real world. They also allow the manufacturer to turn off the anti polution systems at times to protect the system. Except of course the manufactures in some cases take this to mean turn it off almost all the time once past the 20 minute test. Can you blame them when they have unrealistic CO2 targets to reach, which are all but unacheivable without selling huge numbers of diesels?

And yet we still dont really have an idea of real world Nox levels from any car, perol, diesel or what ever. Is it really beyond the likes of Autocar to slap some test gear on while checking the other performance measures. What Car? proudly give us real MPG, but dont bother about NOx.

It makes me wonder if the industry are so scared of the real numbers getting out its not worth a magazine risking the good relationships and advertising revenue over?

3 April 2017
It is killing people and should be abandoned.
Steam cars are due a revival.

3 April 2017
Thekrankis wrote:

It is killing people and should be abandoned.

So does religion, smoking, alcohol, processed food, pesticides and Americans with guns.

4 April 2017
Marc wrote:
Thekrankis wrote:

It is killing people and should be abandoned.

So does religion, smoking, alcohol, processed food, pesticides and Americans with guns.

And driving in general, together with flying, crossing the road on foot, going by rail, falling down the stairs.....

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