The American authorities announced Tuesday that they had indicted two Italian officials of the car manufacturer Fiat Chrysler USA (FCA US, a subsidiary of the Stellantis group) for having lied about the emission control of diesel vehicles sold in the United States.
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The Justice Ministry accuses Sergio Pasini and Gianluca Sabbioni, who live in Italy, of making false or misleading statements about the control systems of more than 100,000 vehicles. A third person based in Michigan, in the northern United States, Emanuele Palma, has already been charged for the same reasons. They were responsible for developing and calibrating certain diesel engines used by Fiat Chrysler, including software intended to control the level of pollutant emissions from vehicles. According to the authorities, they deliberately calibrated the software to emit less nitrogen oxide (NOx), a gas held responsible for many respiratory conditions, during official tests, and thus fool regulators and affect consumers.
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Fiat Chrysler had agreed in early 2019 to pay up to $ 515 million to various US authorities who accused it of having rigged more than 100,000 vehicles.
The manufacturer was also committed to recall the affected cars to bring them up to standard.
This case followed “dieselgate”, the scandal triggered by the German manufacturer Volkswagen when it admitted in 2015 to having equipped a total of eleven million of its diesel cars with software capable of falsifying the results of emissions tests.