Offices of the auto group were searched in three European countries, while an antitrust probe into the merger of Fiat-Chrysler and Peugeot Group has been delayed.
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Offices belonging to Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) have been searched by authorities in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, in relation to an emissions probe by Germany authorities.

According to a report by news outlet Reuters, the raids were initiated by German prosecutors looking into potentially illegal engine management software used by Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Jeep models.

The software is suspected of defeating emissions detection devices.

A company named CNH Industrial – parent company of Iveco trucks – was also included in the searches.

FCA is the group owner of Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Dodge, and Alfa Romeo. Both FCA and CNH Industrial are partly owned and controlled by parent company Exor.

In 2015, Volkswagen Group admitted to cheating emissions tests with specially-programmed software. Known as 'Dieselgate', Volkswagen was issued with billions of dollars of fines by multiple countries, including Australia, with a number of company executives charged.

Both CNH Industrial and FCA have issued statements affirming their cooperation with authorities.

European Union suspends investigation into FCA-PSA merger

Meanwhile, investigators from the European Union have suspended their probe into the merger of Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) and Peugeot Group (PSA), citing a lack of information provided by the automakers.

Authorities from the European Commission (EC) – the European Union's executive arm – launched a four-month antitrust investigation into the merger after the two companies failed to address initial concerns prior to a deadline set by officials.

Reuters is reporting that investigation has now been suspended as the companies have again failed to provide information to authorities.

Last week FCA and PSA announced the merger of their two organisations would be named Stellantis, creating the fourth largest car company in the world.

The EC is investigating whether the merger would reduce competition in the small commercial vans segment in Europe, violating antitrust laws.

Officials from the EC originally stated a decision on the merger would be handed down on 22 October 2020.

“Once the missing information is supplied by the parties, the clock is re-started and the deadline for the Commission’s decision is then adjusted accordingly,” a spokesperson for the EC said on Wednesday.

“This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them."

In a joint statement issued by FCA and PSA, the companies cited the pandemic as having contributed to the delay, and said the requested information would be provided to authorities shortly.