Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Fiat Chrysler seeks diesel emission certification from EPA

Fiat Chrysler seeks diesel emission certification from EPA

FCA says the filing "is the result of many months of close collaboration between FCA US and EPA and CARB, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company's emissions control technology".

The U.S. government has indicted six present and former Volkswagen executives and charged the company with three criminal felony counts for what regulators called a 10-year conspiracy to rig hundreds of thousands of diesel cars to cheat U.S. emission standards.

FCA said it has updated the faulty software that the EPA said affected 104,000 Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram pickups for model years 2014-16.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles intends to install modified emissions software in diesel variants of the 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2014-2016 Ram 1500, according to a company statement.

Fiat Chrysler said it believed the updates would help it reach settlements with the EPA and the Justice Department. Gasoline versions of both models are now on sale, but the diesels (or any auto, for that matter) can't be sold in the USA without emissions certification, and it's unclear how long the EPA will take to approve or reject FCA's application.

FCA says it believes a software update can resolve the EPA's concerns. On Wednesday, the European Union's executive arm filed a formal complaint against the Italian government for allowing Fiat Chrysler to sell cars created to evade emissions tests. The investigation is ongoing, but FCA said yesterday that it was in talks with the Department of Justice to settle the investigation.

The company already faces accusations in Europe that its cars produce far more nitrogen oxides in normal driving than during tests. At the same time, the automaker has filed an application for diesel emissions certification of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2017 Ram 1500.

USA regulators have put greater scrutiny on diesel models after Volkswagen AG admitted in 2015 to using defeat devices that turned on emissions controls to pass tests but turned them off during driving.

A 2013 study by Carder's team set off a chain of events that exposed Volkswagen's use of illegal software to hide excess emissions in diesel cars.

"They can not be classified as defeat devices because we're trying to defeat nothing", FCA chief Sergio Marchionne said in January.

The applications come after the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board in January alleged the automaker used software in previous model years that allowed the vehicles to emit more pollution on the road than showed up in emission tests.

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