During Italy’s main emissions-cheating investigation, in light of the Volkswagen Group scandal, Fiat Chrysler vehicles were allowed to skip the key tests that would test for illegal engine software, according to the transport ministry’s own report.
While the report was never officially published, it was presented to a European parliamentary committee in October. The report will be seized upon by environmental groups who are pressing lawmakers to vote for tougher EU oversight on Thursday. The environmental groups are pressing for tougher oversight of vehicle testing by national authorities in Europe.
The report includes complete sets of data for eight diesel cars made by BMW Group, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and General Motor’s Opel/Vauxhall. Three of the seven FCA models also investigated include a 2.0-liter Jeep Cherokee, a 1.6-liter Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a 1.3-liter Lancia Ypsilon, however the results from these vehicles are missing from an on-road measurement phase and a reversed version of the EU’s standard “NEDC” lab test.
The data for an “Artemis” test that adjusts the EU lab regime to reflect urban driving styles, were also missing from the report from the same model vehicles.
The report offers no explanation as to why the FCA results are missing from the document.
Transport ministry spokeswoman Luisa Gabbi said a “new definitive version” had been drafted to include the missing results. She also noted that further tests would be published in the weeks to come.
“No key test has been omitted for FCA,” she said. Meanwhile, environmentalist groups see this as additional proof of the supportive relationship that has been formed between national testing authorities and automakers.
“It’s imperative that we break this cozy relationship between national testing authorities and their domestic carmakers,” said Julia Poliscanova, a vehicle emissions specialist at Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment.
“This report points to collusion, showing what is going to happen if type approval rules are not tightened up and all enforcement continues to sit with national authorities,” Poliscanova said.
The missing tests could raise questions as the FCA, on Monday, became the third carmaker after VW and Renault to be referred to French prosecutors over emissions.
The company continues to deny breaking any laws, a spokeswoman reiterated, declining to further comment on the matter.
Following the exposure of the Volkswagen scandal in 2015, many European countries have launched their own investigations into the test programs.
One finding as a result of their study was on-road NOx emissions as high as 15 times the regulatory limits.