CNH INDUSTRIAL AND FIAT-CHRYSLER FACE DIESEL-EMISSIONS PROBE

Photography by: courtesy Iveco


The diesel emissions scandal that plagued Volkswagen (VW) for much of the last decade looks like causing a world of pain for Iveco parent CNH Industrial (CNHI), along with Fiat-Chrysler Automobile (FCA), according to European and local media reports.

CNH INDUSTRIAL AND FIAT-CHRYSLER FACE DIESEL-EMISSIONS PROBE
The raids seek to gather evidence on ‘defeat devices’ used to cheat diesel emissions testing, the marketing of vehicles and individual responsibility to the alleged actions.

Alleged use of ‘defeat devices’ on Iveco, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep engines is the focus of raids in three European countries.

Reports from Germany put Fiat and Iveco commercial vehicle engines in the same ‘Dieselgate’ spotlight.

"CNH Industrial confirms that a number of the Group’s offices in Europe have been visited by investigators in the context of a request for assistance by magistrates in Germany," the global firm says in a statement.

"The Company immediately made itself available to the officials, providing its full cooperation.

"CNH Industrial is examining the relevant documentation in order to properly address any requests that the magistrates may have."

Five years ago, when VW was the focus of legal action over its diesel defeat program, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) led the domestic regulatory reaction.

"This enforcement investigation is a priority for the ACCC," chairman Rod Sims said at the time.

"We are very concerned about the potential consumer and competition detriment from this alleged conduct.

"First, using defeat devices is specifically prohibited under the Australian Design Rules, which are picked up as Australian Consumer Law (ACL) mandatory safety standards."

"As the enforcer of the ACL, the ACCC can take action against any corporation that has breached mandatory standards." 

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RAIDING FOR EVIDENCE

An ACCC spokesperson told ABC's sister magazine, ATN, today that it "cannot comment on any potential investigations".

Without naming the two vehicle giants controlled ultimately by the Agnelli family, the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) says investigators from Germany, Italy and Switzerland are searching three commercial properties, "...of a company located in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse in Germany, as well as in three locations in Italy’s Piedmont region and one location in the Swiss canton of Thurgau".

The raids seek to gather evidence on ‘defeat devices’ used to cheat diesel emissions testing, the marketing of vehicles and individual responsibility to the alleged actions.

The duration of the ongoing searches is currently unknown.

In addition, "UK authorities have ordered two companies in London to produce relevant documents".

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"Judicial authorities in Germany are conducting an in-depth fraud investigation on the use of more than 200 000 diesel ‘defeat devices’ in cars produced by an international automotive group and international commercial vehicle manufacturer, as well as their subsidiaries," Eurojust states.

"Coordinated searches to gather evidence are being carried out in Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

"The action was planned and coordinated with the support of Eurojust to ensure secure and efficient information exchanges between involved judicial and law enforcement authorities, agree on joint prosecutorial strategies and prepare operational actions, including today’s searches.

"The Frankfurt am Main Prosecution Service – Center [sic] for Commercial Criminal Matters – is leading the investigation in Germany against a number of responsible people working in the international automotive group.

"The investigation is focused on the suspicion that diesel engines installed in several car models sold by the company would be equipped with an illegal defeat device."

The organisation explains that whereas the vehicles meet the emissions standards under test conditions, the defeat device allegedly effectively shuts down the emissions control system in real drive conditions.

"Such defeat devices are illegal according to the European Union regulations in place," it says.

"Vehicles with defeat devices are not approved for road usage in the EU and consumers with such devices installed in their cars face possible driving bans. In Germany, more than 200,000 vehicles are subject to the investigation, including larger vehicles, such as camper vans.

"The Prosecutor Office of Turin, Italy, is also investigating the crime of fraud in the framework of a parallel proceeding linked to the same case."

ABC magazine has contacted Iveco Australia for comment as to whether bus engines are included.

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