Last month, German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt summoned Fiat to a hearing to explain why a Fiat 500X was found to be running an emissions control device that shut off after 22 minutes - two minutes after the official test cycle that determines official pollution levels is completed.
The emissions tests were undertaken by Germany’s transport authority, the KBA, on behalf of the German Government, and the findings have been reported to the European Commission and Italian authorities. It is understood that tests are now being carried out on other Fiat vehicles.
Fiat has responded by saying that its emissions control systems fully comply with European law, and declined to attend the meeting with Dobrindt citing the grounds that its testing was run under Italian jurisdiction.
Dobrindt, in turn, criticised Fiat's "uncooperative attitude", saying its stance was "totally incomprehensible".
Italy’s Transport Minister, Graziano Delrio, reacted by saying that German authorities should contact Italian car regulators and not the company directly. He added that he had assurances that Fiat Chrysler would fully co-operate with any investigations if conducted correctly.
Consequently media reports in Germany and by the BBC have suggested Germany could respond by suspending sales of Fiat Chrysler vehicles while the discussions are ongoing.