More Bad News For Oil Burners; DOJ Sues FCA Over Cheating Diesels
Once again, the infamous “defeat device” rears its ugly headby Jonathan Lopez, on
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, also known as FCA, has issued a statement in response to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division over alleged diesel vehicle emissions cheating. The suit claims FCA pursued “a deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests,” similar to the dieselgate scandal that’s plagued the Volkswagen Group since 2015. In response, FCA is offering up a software fix that will hopefully quell the problem without affecting individual vehicle fuel economy.
In the recent statement, FCA says it has collaborated with the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the past several months to rectify the issue, testing diesel emissions for 2014 through 2016 model years of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500. Back in January, the EPA and CARB accused FCA of diesel cheating via “defeat devices” that alter engine programming during emissions tests, providing cleaner results than those returned during normal operation. It’s estimated that roughly 100,000 vehicles are affected. The suit has already dinged FCA’s stock price, which hovers at 10.57 as of this writing.
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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m finding this latest revelation to be pretty disheartening. It’s bad enough we have a nearly endless stream of bad news surrounding Volkswagen for its various environmental transgressions, but to add FCA on top of it, and I’m just about at my saturation point.
The diesel powerplant was already on the fringes of popularity here in the states prior to the whole fiasco with Volkswagen, and as further accusations are levied at other automakers, I can’t help but predict a further decline in popularity. Regardless of validity, consumers will undoubtedly associate the fuel type with poor environmental consequences.
Luckily, the number of affected FCA vehicles is far below those affected in the dieselgate scandal, so hopefully the automaker can get this cleaned up a little more quickly than VW.
Read our full review on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee here.
Read our full review on the 2014 Ram 1500 here.