The Department for Transport (DfT) said it will be running tests on the Fiat Chrysler's Jeep Grand Cherokee model in the wake of emissions accusations from the US.
"We are pressing Fiat Chrysler UK for more information about emissions from the 3,700 Jeep Grand Cherokee cars that have been registered in the UK," said a DfT spokesperson. "Our priority is to protect UK consumers and we have instructed our Market Surveillance Unit to undertake testing on one of these vehicles at the earliest opportunity."
On Thursday, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned Fiat Chrysler could face a fine of around $44,500 per vehicle, which could mean a total of around $4.6bn (£3.8bn), after the company was accused of breaking emissions laws in 104,000 diesel vehicles. The regulator is investigating whether the car firm used devices to cheat emissions tests.
Fiat Chrysler has denied any wrongdoing in response to the EPA claims. The company said in a statement it was "disappointed" the EPA had chosen to issue a notice of violation and it intended to work with the incoming administration "to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably" and assure both the regulator and its customers that its diesel-powered vehicles meet "all applicable regulatory requirements".
City A.M. understands that at this stage, there is no indication the same devices were used in the UK, though the DfT is seeking clarity on the matter. The US investigation related to Fiat Chrysler's Dodge Ram 1500 Truck and Jeep Grand Cherokee models; the Dodge isn't widely sold in the UK.
Volkswagen agreed a $4.3bn fine to settle its diesel emissions scandal in the US last week.
It comes as French prosecutors said they will investigate Renault over claims it rigged vehicle pollution tests.
Renault has insisted its engines complied "with French and European regulations" and its vehicles "are not equipped with cheating software affecting anti-pollution systems"