According to industry experts, Fiat Chrysler will likely face punishment over its use of an illegal cheat device on the Fiat 500X in Germany, Forbes reports. General Motors’ Opel brand, meanwhile, which is being investigated for similar conduct, is expected to receive a slap on the wrist.
German regulators say FCA equipped the Fiat 500X with a timer that would deactivate engine exhaust treatment for the first 22 minutes after being turned on. Because the German emissions test lasts 20 minutes, regulators say they have “sufficient proof,” of the use of an illegal defeat device.
Opel, on the other hand, used a defeat device that would switch off exhaust treatment at temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius and above 30 degrees Celsius. The device would also switch off treatment at speeds over 145 km/h, at revs over 2400 RPM and at an atmospheric pressure equivalent to that at 850 meters above sea level.
Experts told Forbes they believe Opel will get away with using a defeat device as the EU can deem some legal – so long the automaker can prove it’s protecting the engine from preventable wear and tear. Industry experts believe it will be easy for Opel to argue its defeat device serves a purpose other than skirting emissions laws, but because FCA’s is simply a timer the London-based automaker won’t get off as easy.
Forbes believes Opel’s emissions-ducking venture was the well-thought out result of a partnership between GM’s lawyers and engineers. Their device adheres to EU law, though just barely. FCA’s operation is thought to be much more crude – so much so that they just might be forced to fess up or face the consequences. Its chances of receiving more than a warning seem especially slim when you consider it was a no-show at last week’s schedule meeting over the matter.