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Fiat 500X Diesel Produces Over 20 Times Too Much NOx, German Lobby Group Says

Illustration for article titled Fiat 500X Diesel Produces Over 20 Times Too Much NOx, German Lobby Group Says

A German environmental group which has already accused Renault, Mercedes, BMW and Opel cars of producing too much pollution has now identified a new NOx-spewing culprit: the Fiat 500X 2.0-liter diesel.

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Translating directly to “German environment help,” the Deutsche Umwelthilfe, or DUH, has just completed testing on a Fiat 500X at the University of Applied science in Bern, Switzerland. Their results claim the 500X exceeds the allowable NOx limits for Euro6 by 11 to 22 times.

DUH says it ran eight tests in total based on Europe’s NEDC drive cycle. Two of the tests, which were run with a cold engine, did okay, but the rest, run with a warm engine, showed NOx values well above allowable levels, reaching up to 1.777 mg of NOx and maxing out the DUH’s machines.

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None of the tests showed a check engine light, so the cars were supposedly running as they would on normal roads. DUH national manager Juergen Resch said of the 500X’s results (translated from German):

The measured NOx emissions of the Fiat 500X provide a clear breach of the EU approval rights. In the past four months we have uncovered at Opel, Renault, BMW and Mercedes greatly increased nitrogen oxide emissions and it seems that there’s a defeat device in use. The Fiat 500X now joins an Italian-American automotive group in the circle of dirty diesel manufacturers.

The DUH is working with European regulatory agencies and the EPA to get to the bottom of the discrepancies. Reuters reached out to FCA for comment, but they declined.

So the Dieselgate saga continues.

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DISCUSSION

DUH ran eight tests in total based on Europe’s NEDC drive cycle. Two of the tests, which were run with a cold engine, did okay, but the rest, run with a warm engine, showed NOx values well above allowable levels, reaching up to 1.777 mg of NOx and maxing out the DUH’s machines.

For context... the NEDC drive cycle is done through cold start. A warm/hot start engine is NOT part of the official NEDC tests (AFAIK).

The important point to note is that a hot start would avoid cold start emissions (duh), but almost every single diesel passenger car in the EU would FAIL NEDC requirements when tested this way (and is also why a car doing a “customer drive cycle” still spews about 7x the allowable NoX limits).

In short- unless they prove that FCA gamed the NEDC tests the same way that VW gamed the EPA tests (i.e. with a defeat device), what this proves more than anything is that the EU bureaucrats need to get their shit together with emissions regulations that more accurately reflect real world driving.


You can find lots of publications on this, i.e. from the ICCT (who commissioned the University that found VW’s “defeat” device): http://www.theicct.org/sites/default/…