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Emissions scandal gets legs

by David Zatz on

Recently, the EPA announced that FCA had not provided all required information about its Ram 1500 / Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel engine programming. After negotiations had dragged on without resolution, the EPA made the rule-violations story public.

With the change in leadership at the EPA, it seems that FCA may have escaped consequences, but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), U.S. Department of Justice, and at least two states have taken up the case, according to an FCA filing with the SEC (reported on by Reuters).

2017 Rams and Jeeps with the VM diesel are not being sold (the Cummins-powered Rams have been re-certified, and are available). The Canadian government has pulled the diesel Ram 1500’s fuel economy estimates from their web site.

Sergio Marchionne said there was no wrongdoing and the company never attempted to create software to cheat emissions rules by detecting when the vehicle was in test mode. The EPA has not contested this, but has issued a statement describing the possible violations in detail. At issue are various steps the engine control software takes to maintain longevity and reduce DEF usage, which may result in excessive pollution. These steps must be divulged to the EPA in advance, but in this case they apparently were not.

FCA is being investigated in Europe, as well, by the French government, due to what may be excess emissions from smaller diesel engines. Recently, it was alleged that the Italian government had not fully tested some vehicles.

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