According to Automotive News, twenty Fiat engineers have visited Chrysler headquarters to begin merging the companies' product planning departments. The current Fiat cars that will soon go on sale as Chrysler models, though, will still need some 18 months in order to be homologated according to U.S. federal regulations.

Included in the changes are airbag re-engineering to take unbelted passengers into account, reworking the bumpers in order to ensure they are robust enough to remain undamaged after a 2 mph impact, tweaking the powertrains for emissions compliance, and side impact retesting.

At the moment, if Chrysler can emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, there are six Fiat models slated to arrive in 2011, but volume quantities aren't expected until 2012.

[Source: Automotive News, sub req'd]

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