The US. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobile for allegedly running afoul of the Clean Air Act by failing to disclose engine management software in its light duty models for Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.
The vehicles in question had 3.0 liter diesel engines and were sold in the United States from 2014-2016, or about 104,000 vehicles. The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the vehicles, EPA says.
“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,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “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.”
The Clean Air Act requires car makers to demonstrate to federal regulators that their vehicles meet air pollution requirements. As part of a certification process, they must disclose and explain any software that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution. EPA says that Fiat did not disclose certain control devices, which meant it allegedly violated the Clean Air Act.
If found liable, Fiat could have to pay civil penalties.
Fiat responded by saying it was “disappointed” in EPA — that it chose to issue a notice of violation. It says that it will work with the Trump administration to present its case and to “fairly” resolve this matter.
Fiat says that its diesel engines have state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware, which control tailpipe emissions “to balance EPA’s regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency.
“FCA (Fiat) US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements,” it concludes. It adds that it has tried to explain this to EPA and to address the agency’s concerns.