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FCA files for new diesel vehicle certification, plans to address past concerns

Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently announced that it has filed an application for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board for its 2017 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. Its updated emissions software calibrations is going into these vehicles.

Months of planning and testing between FCA US, the EPA, and CARB went into this filing. This comes after the issues arising from the EPA’s findings that 104,000 trucks and SUVs sold in the U.S. over the past couple of years don’t comply with emissions regulations. The group includes 2014, 2015, and 2016 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 vehicles fitted with the EcoDiesel 3.0-liter V6 engine.

The EPA accused FCA of using software that affects emissions, allowing the vehicles to emit more nitrogen oxide (NOX) than they’re supposed to. This recalls the disastrous results of the discovery of Volkswagen’s defeat devices found in its TDI models, though the number of FCA vehicles brought to the spotlight is a fraction of those from the Dieselgate scandal.

Additionally, while the FCA vehicles may have been putting out excess emissions while the vehicle was being used in a normal manner, it’s not clear if the software was able to detect when the car was being tested and “cheat,” which was the case with VW.

Through its collaboration with the regulatory agencies, FCA plans to install the new modified emissions software in the 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. In doing so, the carmaker hopes to ease itself from the scrutiny it has found itself under.

If the EPA and CARB approve the application, current owners of the vehicles in question will be able to visit their dealerships for software updates. FCA states that this installation and calibration will improve emissions without having an impact on performance or fuel efficiency.

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