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Diesel cheating Suzuki
Suzuki Carry, image courtesy of Suzuki.

Clean Transport

The Italian Job — Diesel Cheating Edition

Prosecutors in Europe are investigating alleged diesel cheating by Suzuki and Stellantis.

It has been nearly 7 years since Dieselgate embroiled Volkswagen in an international diesel cheating scandal that almost put one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers out of business. But while VW was the poster child for emissions cheating, it was far from alone in rigging emissions testing systems. Its fellow German automakers also had their own issues with diesel emissions regulations and the reverberations are still echoing today.

Reuters reports that Eurojust, Europe’s agency for criminal justice cooperation, has recently completed searches at the corporate headquarters in Europe of Suzuki, Stellantis, and Marelli designed to uncover evidence of faulty emissions controls installed on diesel engines built by Stellantis in Italy for Suzuki vehicles assembled in Hungary using parts supplied by Marelli.

Eurojust said the raids were conducted “to counter the use of faulty emission devices in engines, used in cars of a Japanese producer. The devices were allegedly fitted in the Italian-built diesel engines of large numbers of cars, giving the impression that the vehicles’ nitrogen oxide emissions were in line with EU regulations,” the agency said. The searches were carried out in Germany, Hungary, and Italy.

Suzuki has virtually disappeared from the US market, but has a significant presence in Europe, including such utilitarian vehicles as the Carry, an all purpose light duty hauler that is perfect for navigating city streets first laid out for horses and ox carts. The investigators did not identify any particular Suzuki model as being the target of t the criminal probe.

A spokesperson for Suzuki, whose European headquarters are in Germany, said the company and local management “are cooperating with the investigating authorities.” Marelli said in a statement that it was cooperating with investigators. “Marelli is confident that we have always conducted our operations in full compliance with regulations.”

Stellantis said its subsidiary FCA Italy had been asked as part of an investigation in Frankfurt to provide information and documents “regarding the use of allegedly impermissible emissions control software in diesel engines supplied to Suzuki. The company will continue to fully cooperate to investigations in this matter,” the carmaker said in a statement. It is also dealing with a similar situation in the US regarding alleged irregularities involving diesel-powered Ram pickup trucks and Jeep vehicles.

There should be no surprise that diesel cheating allegations continue to plague automakers, particularly in Europe where diesel engines became almost a religion after the OPEC oil embargoes 50 years ago. There are millions of Europeans who have never driven a vehicle that wasn’t powered by a diesel engine.

It’s not that diesels are all that different from gasoline engines. Both create harmful emissions that make people sick and die. It’s long past time for the era of internal combustion engines to be over — permanently.

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Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


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