A notice by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles raises the potential that another automaker used software to deliberately trick emissions tests.
The EPA has not made that accusation against Fiat Chrysler, but did issue a notice of violation letter saying that the automaker failed to disclose engine-management software in Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge RAM 1500s.
“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 the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, told reporters during a recent conference call. “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 notice of violation applies to Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge RAM 1500s with 3.0-liter diesel engines made between the 2014 and 2016 model years. The EPA said that these Fiat Chrysler vehicles had at least eight undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices that reduce the effectiveness of emissions controls at high speeds or during extended driving.
Giles said that in months of discussions with Fiat Chrysler the automaker had been unable to explain the emissions-control devices.
Volkswagen has recently agreed to several multi-billion-dollar settlements after it was revealed that it had deliberately installed devices in diesel vehicles to cheat emissions tests. Ben Bailey, of the firm’s Charleston, WV office, serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for this multidistrict class-action litigation.
If you purchased or leased one of the affected Jeep or Dodge vehicles, please contact us at http://baileyandglasser.com/contact-us/ or call Kate Charonko at (304) 345-6555.