Photo: Fiat

Bosch, the automotive supplier that played a crucial role in Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal, allegedly tipped German authorities off to a cheat software in the Fiat 500X diesel. The software, Reuters reports, uses a timer to sense when the test cycle is over, after which point it disables emissions features.

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The Reuters report cites German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, claiming that Bosch, which helped VW develop a defeat-device to cheat emissions, whispered into German authorities’ ears that Fiat might have a cheat up its sleeve, too.

The report claims that Fiat’s 500X uses a time-based cheat that senses how long the car has been running. The idea is that once the car senses that 22 minutes have elapsed, it concludes that the 20-minute NEDC test cycle is over, and subsequently disables emissions controls devices.

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After Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority, the KBA, released results of their 53 vehicles diesel emissions test, which prompted VW, Opel and Mercedes to recall over 600,000 vehicles, the transport minister said: “We will need to carry out further tests on Fiat models.”

We’ve reported before that one German environmental group, Deutsche Umwelthilfe, claims to have tested the Fiat 500X, and found that, once the engine is warm, it pollutes up to 20 times more NOx than allowed.

Fiat Chrysler has responded, saying its vehicles do indeed meet regulatory requirements.

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Hopefully, we’ll find out if all this is true in the coming weeks, as soon as the KBA finishes up their testing. This purported trick, unlike the the thermal-window loophole many automakers have been using to “reduce catalyst condensation,” sounds like a blatant cycle-beater.