Fiat Takes TV Show to Court for Defamatory Statements on Alfa Romeo MiTo


The Fiat Group has decided to take legal actions against the producers of the AnnoZero television show, which is hosted on the Italian state owned public service broadcaster, RAI, for statements made on an episode that aired on December 2.

The company alleges that the show's hosts made comments that were "highly defamatory and damaging to the image and reputation of the company, its products and its employees and based on a fabricated comparison."

Always according to the Turin-based automaker, the broadcasters referred to an article from Italian car magazine Quattroruote, which compared the Alfa Romeo MiTo QV with the Citroën DS3 THP and Mini Cooper S, to state that the MiTo was "technically inferior".

Fiat claims that not only was the magazine's overall evaluation in favor of the Alfa Romeo, but the producers mislead viewers by connecting their assumptions to an earlier test with different vehicles - or so we understood from the slightly confusing press release, which you can read for yourselves below.

Since we haven't seen the TV show, we can't take sides or form an opinion on the matter, but something tells us that Fiat would have accomplished much more if it had issued a simple statement leaving the lawyers out of this.


Fiat to seek damages from the producers of AnnoZero

Fiat Group Automobiles announces that it has instructed its lawyers to initiate legal action against the producers of the television show AnnoZero for statements made on air on December 2nd that were highly defamatory and damaging to the image and reputation of the company, its products and its employees and based on a fabricated comparison.

In particular, Fiat Group Automobiles takes issue with the manner in which AnnoZero portrayed the performance of three cars, one of which was an Alfa Romeo MiTo, claiming that the "test", apparently conducted in the Autumn, demonstrated the overall technical inferiority of the Alfa Romeo MiTo, on the basis of speed alone.

The broadcast sought to give the appearance that it was connected to a test actually conducted in the Spring, using different vehicles, by the monthly publication Quattroruote – the results of which were published in the magazine’s June issue.

Incredibly, what the broadcast did not state is that Quattroruote's overall evaluation of the Alfa Romeo MiTo (1,368 cc Quadrifoglio version) – based on a comparison of technical performance, safety and comfort – was higher than for both the Citroën DS3 THP (1,598 cc) and the Mini Cooper S (1,598 cc).

Fiat therefore intends, motivated also by its desire to protect the thousands of employees that contribute daily to producing safe, technologically-advanced products, to seek damages (to be donated entirely to charity) as a defense against conduct which is both unwarranted and prejudicial to the truth.

Turin, 7 December 2010


Anonymous said... »December 07, 2010

But the MITO is inferior to most rivals.

Anonymous said... »December 07, 2010

It's an Italian company, whadya expect?!

Anonymous said... »December 07, 2010

Ever since the Agnelli family ousted Vittorio Ghidella (who was the only person that believed in the brands owned by Fiat and also knew what he was doing), they've let the car-making side down, focusing on "other" stuff (railroads and other crap).

The MiTo is merely OK, with the first batches having a rather crappy set-up (much like the Punto Abarth, they hopped and skipped like goats on a rocky mountain - and handled like shit). Oh, and forget having powerful versions; Sergio Marchionne's biatch, Harald Wester (Alfa Romeo's CEO), thinks powerful versions are "way too sporty", so they shouldn't be available.

Anonymous said... »December 07, 2010

Like everyone else nowadays, they can't take criticism and they lash out like babies when they hear something negative about themselves.

Doesn't anybody have a backbone anymore?

Anonymous said... »December 07, 2010

By Looks alone the Alfa is in another league compared to the long in the tooth Mini, & gawdawful DS3. It was voted as best mini, & third overall in a whatcar english public survey. The point, the TV show was trying to make was that Fiat does not know how to build cars, so they should sellout to the Germans! The Germans? Italian public has lost all nationalism, & become half german loving socialists & half cheapest car out there. If only the Germans had an ounce of Italian car crafting in them, oh well VW thinks it can just buy it. Good luck with that.

Kid Voltron said... »December 08, 2010

FIAT must just grow up...

Anonymous said... »December 08, 2010

You understand nothing. This is a very domestic conflict. Marchionne wants the labor rules more flexible but the biggest union (communist CGIL) vehemently opposes such changes. There is a political battle, and those in the left like Michele Santoro, make everything to discredit FIAT. The cultural power of Communism in Italy is still strong.

Anonymous said... »December 08, 2010


Anonymous said... »December 08, 2010

Italians do it better... no, BEST! Love this car.

Anonymous said... »December 08, 2010

S-E-X-Y back, Justin!

Anonymous said... »December 08, 2010

If I cannot afford an Italian sports car, this will do just fine! Bring it to Canada, PLEASE!

Anonymous said... »December 09, 2010

You are in a risky business Carscoop, especially in the land of Lawsuits.

Anonymous said... »December 09, 2010

the "annozero" show wanted to test the quality of mito by performance on the road only...(infact the mito result only 3°..)...i agree with fiat because this is not press (according to "annozero" testing mini must be better than mercedes too..) there is political fight in italy and this is result..

Anonymous said... »December 09, 2010

"You are in a risky business Carscoop, especially in the land of Lawsuits."

You don't scare anyone with your bullshit.

Anonymous said... »December 21, 2010

"You are in a risky business Carscoop, especially in the land of Lawsuits."

Said the dipshit. Enough with Fiat's shills. Let's face it: Fiat makes CRAP cars and, instead of letting its more talented subsidiaries (Lancia, Alfa Romeo) do the R&D and have Fiat make cheaper versions of Alfa Romeos and Lancias, they force Lancia and Alfa Romeo to make higher-priced Fiats, i.e. overpriced CRAP.

Fix It Again Tony.

In fact, it'll be Fix It All the Time now that Marchionne has slashed R&D budget by more than 60%. And no, it's not about communism at all; it's about the fact that Marchionne wants Fiat to become a Chrysler subsidiary. They had the D-Evo floorpan ready and he ditched it, letting Chrysler do the R&D. CHRYSLER!!! For fuck's sake! Chrysler, the company that made the craptastic Sebring!!!

Anonymous said... »January 06, 2011

Hey noob above, go take your medicine

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