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 PRESS RELEASE:


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