The Environmental Protection Agency has accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of installing emissions software in 104,000 diesel Rams and Jeeps that violates the Clean Air Act.
According to the regulator, which made its announcement this morning, FCA failed to declare “eight auxiliary emissions control devices” during the EPA certification process. Those devices were installed on 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine.
The regulator has sent a notice of violation to the automaker.
During heightened EPA testing of domestic diesels that occurred in the year after the Volkswagen emissions scandal, the regulator discovered software installed on FCA vehicles created excess nitrous oxide tailpipe emissions. NOx is the key ingredient in smog, which poses direct health effects on humans with respiratory issues.
The findings show a “serious violation of the Clean Air Act,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of the EPA, during a conference call. “Some of the devices allow the vehicle to perform differently when being tested,” she added.
Giles said EPA is looking to FCA “to demonstrate why we shouldn’t conclude that these (devices) are defeat devices.”
Defeat devices installed on Volkswagen diesel engines were revealed to turn on emissions control functions when the vehicles were undergoing regulatory testing, while leaving them off during normal, day-to-day operation. In Volkswagen’s case, the NOx levels were up to 40 times the legal limit.
During talks with FCA, the regulator, which is working with the California Air Resources Board and Environment Canada, claims that the automaker didn’t offer a suitable explanation for the devices.
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