Affected models include light duty Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3-liter diesel engines from model years 2014, 2015 and 2016, according to the EPA.
The cheat software resulted in excess emissions of nitrogen oxides, which have harmful health effects that “threaten public health by polluting the air we breathe,” according to Cynthia Giles, an assistant administrator at the EPA.
Giles stopped short of referring to the software as “defeat devices,” which Volkswagen used on its diesel vehicles to sense when the car is being tested for emissions and temporarily reduce pollution to pass the test. However, Giles said there is no doubt that Fiat Chrysler’s software “is contributing to illegal pollution.”
The software is similar to Volkswagen’s defeat devices in that it was designed to meet legal standards during emissions tests. But environmental regulators found that under normal driving conditions, the software reduced the effectiveness of emissions controls.
EPA has notified Fiat Chrysler that vehicles installed with the software are in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The automaker has yet to come up with a satisfactory answer regarding the accusations, according to Giles.
In a statement, Fiat Chrysler said it “believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements,” adding that it “intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably.”
Stock in Fiat Chrysler tumbled after EPA’s announcement, falling over 15% before heavy volumes forced the New York Stock Exchange to suspend trading.
Source: The Wall Street Journal