The European Commission took legal action against Italy on Wednesday for failing to react to accusations of emission-test cheating by Fiat Chrysler, in a process that could result in the nation being taken to court.
The Commission stated Italy had failed to convince it that devices utilized to modulate emissions on Fiat Chrysler cars beyond narrow testing conditions were justified.
“The Commission is now officially asking Italy to reply to its concerns that the maker has not sufficiently justified the technical necessity– and thus the legality– of the defeat device used,” the Commission stated.
Italy has 2 months to reply to the Commission’s demand and might be ultimately taken to the European Court of Justice if the response is found to be unconvincing.
Italy had asked the European Union to postpone its strategy to launch legal action versus Rome over emissions at Fiat Chrysler, Transport Minister Graziano Delrio stated.
“Considering that after the end of the mediation procedure, we did not receive any request for additional details … we ask that you postpone starting the infringement procedure while we wait for a letter asking for clarification on issues raised by your pertinent offices,” Delrio informed EU Market Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska.
The European Commission has been moderating a disagreement between Rome and Berlin after Germany accused Fiat Chrysler of using an unlawful device in its Fiat 500X, Fiat Doblo and Jeep Renegade models. That mediation ended in March.
EU officials have become significantly frustrated with what they see as governments conspiring with the powerful car market and the legal move is the biggest stick the European Commission has available to require countries to clamp down on diesel vehicles that gush out polluting nitrogen oxide (NOx).
Delrio, has although stated that the material Italy had sent to the Commission throughout the mediation process revealed that the vehicles’ approval process was correctly carried out.