Prosecutors searched Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sites in Germany and Italy as part of an international fraud investigation into potentially illegal emissions cheating defeat devices.
Potentially illegal software has been detected in Multijet engines used in Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Fiat cars as well as in commercial diesel engines used in Iveco and Fiat commercial vehicles, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.
Although the vehicles passed pollution tests in a laboratory, they used software to largely switch off exhaust emissions filtering while driving on the road.
Prosecutors say more than 200,000 vehicles are affected in Germany alone.
They said the Fiat engine range suspected of carrying a defeat device is the “Family B,” which includes the 1.3-liter Multijet, 1.6-liter Multijet and 2.0-liter Multijet of the EU5 and EU6 emission classes used in Alfa, Fiat and Jeep vehicles.
The commercial vehicle engines 110 Multijet F1AE3481G, 115 Multijet 250A1000, 150 Multijet F1AE3481D and 180 Multijet F1CE3481E are also part of the probe.
The investigation, which is coordinated by EUROJUST, focuses on nine individuals living in Italy and their activities between 2014 to 2019, the prosecutor’s office said.