[JURIST] The European Commission [official website] on Wednesday sent [press release] a letter asking for Italy's response to allegations that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group [official website] used illegal emissions control devices. The letter is the first step in infringement proceedings against Italy. The European Commission has requested that Italy provide justification for its legal treatment of Fiat's emission control strategies. Italy has two months to respond to the letter. Allegations of illegal emission control devices in Fiat's vehicles were brought by the German Transport Ministry in September 2016.
The allegations against Fiat are similar to allegations against Volkswagen, who was also accused of circumventing emission testing through installed software and equipment. Earlier this month, a federal judge approved [JURIST report] of a settlement case against Volkswagen regarding their 3.0-liter vehicles. In April, a German court upheld [JURIST report] the seizure of evidence against Volkswagen obtained during a raid of the law firm Jones Day. In December, South Korea announced [JURIST report] plans to fine the company for false advertising. In October, a Spanish court ordered [JURIST report] Volkswagen to pay a car owner €5,006 for the 10% decrease in the car's value due to the emissions cheating.