Once again, the infamous “defeat device” rears its ugly head

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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More Bad News For Oil Burners; DOJ Sues FCA Over Cheating Diesels
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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.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Gallery

Read our full review on the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee here.

Ram 1500 Gallery

Read our full review on the 2014 Ram 1500 here.

FCA US today issued the following statement in response to a civil lawsuit filed against the company by the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”):

FCA US has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for many months, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology in model-year (MY) 2014-2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles.

FCA US is currently reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the DOJ-ENRD has chosen to file this lawsuit. The Company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the Company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests.

More Bad News For Oil Burners; DOJ Sues FCA Over Cheating Diesels
- image 717896

As FCA US announced last week, it has developed updated emissions software calibrations that it believes address the concerns of EPA and CARB, and has now formally filed for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the regulators for its 2017 model year (MY) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. Subject to the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles.

FCA expects that the installation of these updated software calibrations will improve the 2014-2016 MY vehicles’ emissions performance and does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency.

Notwithstanding this lawsuit, the Company remains committed to working cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve the agencies’ concerns quickly and amicably.

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