ROME/BERLIN -- Italy rebuffed German efforts to look more deeply at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, arguing the automaker's vehicles don't breach emissions rules.
The Italian Transport Ministry's tests showing Fiat used no unauthorized devices on its vehicles still stand, an Italian government official said.
Germany this week escalated a months-old dispute between the two countries, asking the European Union to step in.
The German Transport Ministry wants the EU's executive arm to intervene in the feud with its Italian counterpart by setting up consultations to find a resolution to disagreements over the test results, according to a letter dated Wednesday obtained by Bloomberg News. The Italian Transport Ministry hasn't received any formal request, said the official, who asked not to be identified by name because the government isn't officially commenting.
Germany stepped up scrutiny of auto emissions in the aftermath of Volkswagen Group's emissions-cheating scandal, including reviewing carmakers outside its jurisdiction.
Under EU rules, Italy is responsible for testing Fiat Chrysler because the automaker's regional operations are based in the country. The automaker, which declined to comment on Germany's letter, said in May that "all its vehicles comply with emissions regulations and the company doesn't cheat on emissions tests."
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has said that he doubts Fiat Chrysler's cars are in line with rules for emissions certification. Italian Transport Minister Graziano Delrio replied in an interview with Bloomberg in June that the carmaker's vehicles were "absolutely fine" and the company showed "maximum transparency."
"We understand that the dialogue between Germany and Italy is ongoing and we will follow developments closely," European Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said on Thursday, adding that the Commission has not yet received a formal request to intervene. "It is first and foremost a dialogue between the two member states."
The auto industry's credibility has been strained following VW's admission last September that it rigged diesel-engine software to cheat on official emissions tests. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has since acknowledged that it manipulated fuel-economy tests, and Daimler is checking for possible irregularities in its vehicle certifications at the behest of the U.S. Department of Justice.
The dispute stems chiefly from a loose interpretation of EU regulations that allow automakers to adjust pollution-control systems to protect the engine. Germany has moved to close the loophole and has also strong-armed German-based automakers to voluntarily recall 630,000 vehicles to upgrade emissions systems that turned off exhaust controls at certain temperatures.