Fiat Is Suing Radiotelevisione Italiana

Fiat announced it would file a lawsuit against the producers of the Italian television show AnnoZero for statements made on air on December 2, 2010. The automaker claims the producers have wrongly portrayed the Alfa Romeo MiTo as being technically inferior to the Citroen DS3 THP and the Mini Cooper S.

The statement has been made in a test conducted this autumn, and was based solely on the speed criteria. The broadcast tried to give the impression that it was connected to a test actually conducted in the Spring, using different vehicles, by the monthly publication Quattroruote. The publication had featured the test results in its June issue.

The broadcast did not mention that Quatroruotte's overall evaluation of the Alfa Romeo MiTo, based on a comparison of technical performance, safety and comfort, was higher than that of both the Citroen DS3 THP and the Mini Cooper S.

Some voices say that during the test the producers had switched off electronic driving aid in both the Citroen and the Mini, but hadn't done so in the MiTo. This would mean that the invasive intervention of the driving aid would slow the MiTo and compromise the results of the test.

Fiat is now suing the RAI broadcasting group for damages to the image and reputation of the company. The compensation will be entirely donated to charities, as cited from a statement made by Fiat.

The producers of the show had probably achieved their goal with the defamatory statement they had made, as controversy usually brings more audience and, therefore, more profit.
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