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Germany asks EU to investigate Fiat Chrysler diesel cheating allegations

German authorities claim that three FCA vehicles have the ability to switch off emissions systems.

2016 Fiat 500X
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

After Volkswagen admitted to deceiving most of the world regarding its diesel emissions, a number of governments have ramped up testing of all diesel vehicles, in the event any other company tried to pull the same trick. Germany's regulators now claim that Fiat Chrysler vehicles are cheating, and they want the EU to investigate.

KBA, Germany's transport authority, claims that the diesel variants of the Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade and Fiat Doblo all have devices meant to turn off exhaust treatment systems, Reuters reports. Germany brought these claims to Italian authorities already, but Italy claims it never heard from Germany on the matter.

After Italy's snub, Germany went straight to the European Union, asking for an investigation into FCA's vehicles. Like the great game of telephone that this is, the EU said it's up to Germany and Italy to solve this problem.

The issue relates to what is called a "thermal window." Basically, there's a specific period of time when cars can restrict emissions-control devices in order to prevent engine damage under very cold starting conditions. KBA claims that these thermal windows can range wildly between automakers, and that the window itself can actually be quite large.

Fiat Chrysler, obviously, isn't taking this news sitting down. The company did not immediately return a request for comment, but it told Reuters that the allegations are untrue, and that its vehicles conform to all applicable standards.

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