EPA Accuses Fiat Chrysler Of Using Emissions-Cheating Software In More Than 100,000 Vehicles

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Jan 12, 2017
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Air pollution has become a problem with the ever-increasing car population, so automakers and their regulators have done a lot to stop this hazard from spreading more than it already has. But with the advent of smart software in cars there is a slight chance that someone might try to cut corners on the regulations such as emissions limitations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently issued a notice to Fiat Chrysler (FCA) which indicates that the auto manufacturer has a lot of vehicles on the road that have a similar problem.

The EPA has accused FCA of using engine management software that violated standards

The EPA claims that 104,000 vehicles from the company including 2014,2015 and 2016 models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Ram 1500 trucks have “at least eight” pieces of an engine management software that has helped the company “skirt” the rules set by the EPA regarding emissions. The software used in the engine management was not disclosed by the company to the EPA.

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It is the duty of every carmaker to show the EPA that their cars meet a certain standard of emissions. The suspected violations by FCA are in direct conflict with this, which is called the Clean Air Act. The act is useful to control air pollution, but it seems that there is a way around it. Another part of the whole act states that automakers must fully disclose all software and its workings to the EPA in the overall certification process and failure of full disclosure might lead to penalties. According to the agency, FCA did not adhere to the act in the case of the vehicles mentioned above.

The EPA has stated that because of its actions FCA could face “civil penalties and inductive relief.” The EPA launched a new testing process for emissions back in September 2015 which was basically introduced after the whole Volkswagen incident happened. FCA is now the next target for the EPA and there might be more to follow as the regulator picks up its pace on its rigorous vehicle screening process introduced more than a year ago.

FCA is not at all happy with the alleged accusations

The automaker, FCA, on the other hand is very “disappointed” with the EPA. According to FCA it has been working tirelessly behind the scenes with the agency for “months” after a request for further explanation came to the company from the regulator. The company says it invested time in explaining the working of its software and its in-vehicle emissions management tech for the models mentioned above. But it looks like the EPA was not satisfied with the clarification and issued a notice. The full statement by the company can be read below:

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FCA US Response to EPA
January 12, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – FCA US is disappointed that the EPA has chosen to issue a notice of violation with respect to the emissions control technology employed in the company’s 2014-16 model year light duty 3.0-liter diesel engines.

FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements.

FCA US diesel engines are equipped with state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware, including selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Every auto manufacturer must employ various strategies to control tailpipe emissions in order to balance EPA’s regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency. FCA US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements.

FCA US has spent months providing voluminous information in response to requests from EPA and other governmental authorities and has sought to explain its emissions control technology to EPA representatives. FCA US has proposed a number of actions to address EPA’s concerns, including developing extensive software changes to our emissions control strategies that could be implemented in these vehicles immediately to further improve emissions performance.

FCA US looks forward to the opportunity to meet with the EPA’s enforcement division and representatives of the new administration to demonstrate that FCA US’s emissions control strategies are properly justified and thus are not “defeat devices” under applicable regulations and to resolve this matter expeditiously.

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