The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesels are part of the 104,000 vehicles affected.
In the wake of VW’s Dieselgate scandal, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now targeting Fiat Chrysler (FCA) for cheat devices is more than 100,000 vehicles. The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 3.0-litre diesel are part of the more than 104,000 vehicles reportedly affected. An official statement by the EPA can be found below.
At least eight auxiliary emissions control devices were not disclosed to the EPA when FCA certified the engines, suggesting violations of the Clean Air Act. The engines are said to meet emissions standards during normal testing, but software reduces the emissions system's effectiveness at high speeds or when driving for extended periods
The U.S. trucks and SUVs in question have been on the market since 2014. According to the Vehicle and Fuels Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the models "emit nitrogen oxide in excess of the standard," due to implementation of the devices. The EPA says that there is no immediate action needed for owners, as the vehicles are safe and legal for people to drive while the investigation into the matter continues. If found guilty, penalties could be as high as $44,539 (approx. $58,500 CAD) per vehicle effected.
FCA has issued an official statement:
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-litre 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.
There's no word yet on Canadian vehicles that may be affected, though the company does sell both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 in diesel formats in the country.
We will continue to monitor the situation, and update the story with more information as we get it.