EPA Claims Fiat Chrysler Used Software to Cheat Emmisions on 100K Vehicles

January 12, 2017

--This article has been updated--

The EPA accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of using software that allowed excess diesel emissions in just over 100,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs sold since 2014. The EPA says auxiliary emissions control software allowed Fiat Chrysler vehicles to emit more nitrogen oxide than is allowed under the Clean Air Act.

Vehicles included in the EPA assessment include the 2014 to 2016 model year Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokees with 3.0-liter diesel engines. The engines are made by VM Motori in Italy, and has no connection to Cummins, which supplies other diesels to Dodge and Ram.

Fiat Chrysler denied any wrongdoing, according to news reports. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company said "the dispute involved a difference of opinion within the EPA about the calibration of its vehicles' emission-control devices."

In September 2015, EPA said it would review all U.S. diesel vehicles following an admission from Volkswagen that it installed software in cars allowing them to emit up to 40 times legally permissible level of pollution.

The automaker said it will contest the EPA's allegations and believes the vehicles meet the agency's standards

“Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statment. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.

Fiat Chrysler could face fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle if it is proven that it violated emissions rules.