BRUSSELS -- The European Commission said Germany requested that it mediate a dispute with Italy over whether Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' vehicles breached emissions rules.
"We will now assist the German and Italian authorities to the extent possible with a view to facilitating a common understanding of the car manufacturer's compliance, or lack thereof," commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet said by e-mail on Saturday in Brussels. "Our role is one of mediating, not arbitrating."
The German Transport Ministry wants the European Union's executive arm to intervene in the dispute with its Italian counterpart by setting up consultations to resolve disagreements over test results on Fiat cars, according to a letter dated Wednesday obtained by Bloomberg News.
Germany stepped up scrutiny of emissions in the aftermath of Volkswagen Group's diesel-cheating scandal, including reviewing carmakers outside its jurisdiction. The dispute with Italy 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. Under EU rules, Italy is responsible for testing Fiat cars because the automaker's regional operations are based in the country.
Fiat, 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."
Germany's probe found that some Fiat vehicles showed irregular levels of diesel exhaust pollution, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported earlier this year. The paper said the emissions treatment system was throttled back after 22 minutes. The normal duration of regulatory tests for vehicle emissions is about 20 minutes.
Berlin said the findings proved the "illegal use of a device to switch off exhaust treatment systems." The affected vehicles include the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade small SUVs, which are platform siblings, along with the Fiat Doblo car-derived van. The engine in question is Fiat's latest 2.0-liter diesel.
Italian Transport Ministry's tests showing that Fiat used no unauthorized devices on its vehicles still stand, an Italian government official said on Friday.
Reuters contributed to this report