The European Commission is taking action against the Italian government for “failure to fulfil its obligations” to deal with Fiat Chrysler’s use of a defeat device in emissions tests.
Reacting to the news, ClientEarth lawyer Ugo Taddei, said: “The Commission’s action highlights that the Italian government tried to whitewash emissions cheating by Fiat Chrysler, rather than protect the health of its citizens.
“The Italian case is particularly alarming but, unfortunately, this reluctance to deal with the problem of emissions controls strategies employed by car manufacturers is a pan-European failure.”
Failure to deal with dirty diesel emissions
Ugo added: “Authorities across the EU have failed their citizens by not taking strong enough action to ensure diesel cars comply with rules on the road and not only in lab tests. A study out this week suggests this has resulted in 11,400 premature deaths that could have been avoided if carmakers complied with emission limits properly.
“Today’s infraction shows again that the current vehicle approval system is fatally flawed. Enforcement of vehicle emission rules, which are there to protect our health, cannot be left under the sole responsibility of national governments which are too close to the industry.”
Emissions testing regime needs urgent reform
ClientEarth is urging EU governments to support the European Commission’s proposal to reform the way new cars are tested and approved.
“Otherwise,” adds Ugo, “manufacturers will continue to get away with churning out diesel cars which claim to be clean but pump out levels of NOx emissions that are making us sick.”