Berlin Calls on Brussels to Help Resolve Fiat Chrysler Emissions Spat

Germany Transport Ministry concerned about possible use of device to cheat on tests

Fiat 500 cars on display for sale in a dealer’s lot. Germany has asked the EU to help resolve a dispute with Fiat Chrysler over allegedly elevated vehicle emissions. Photo: Bloomberg News .By Sarah Sloat and Friedrich Geiger Sept. 1, 2016 8:45 a.m. ET

BERLIN—Germany has asked the European Commission to help resolve a dispute with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over allegedly elevated auto emissions found in vehicle tests, according to a letter seen by The Wall Street Journal.

In the letter, the Transport Ministry said German tests found increased emissions levels in a number of Fiat Chrysler vehicles which it considered as confirmation that an illegal device was being used to switch off the vehicles’ exhaust-treatment system.

The Italian authorities have previously have denied that an illegal device was in use. Fiat Chrysler declined to comment on Thursday.

Germany launched a broad investigation of diesel emissions among manufacturers after Volkswagen AG admitted a year ago it had installed devices in some 11 million diesel-powered vehicles world-wide that enabled the cars to cheat emissions tests. Since then, Volkswagen has faced legal challenges around the globe, and is moving to reach agreements with regulators and drivers. Earlier Thursday, Australia’s consumer watchdog said it is suing Volkswagen for misleading consumers and allegedly concealing software in tens of thousands of vehicles to cheat emissions testing.

 Write to Sarah Sloat at [email protected] and Friedrich Geiger at [email protected]

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