FCA encouraged by talks with EPA, offers fix for EcoDiesel

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Updated Feb 6, 2017
2017 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel Crew Cab 4Ă—42017 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel Crew Cab 4Ă—4

FCA announced that it may have a solution to address accusations of emissions non-compliance raised by EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board).

While addressing the company’s 2016 financial performance on a recent conference call, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company proposed to EPA that it could change engine calibrations on its diesel-equipped trucks and SUVs which both agencies say violate the Clean Air Act.

Under fire is Ram’s popular 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine found in 2014-16 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups. EPA accused FCA of installing software which the agency says increases nitrogen oxide emissions and causes the vehicles to perform differently while undergoing emissions tests.

Marchionne vehemently denies any intentional wrongdoing and offered up a fix to EPA that entails altering engine calibrations by re-flashing the ECU of affected FCA vehicles, according to the Detriot Free Press.

“We are in the midst of a series of pretty intense discussions with both EPA and CARB (California Air Resources Board) on the certification of the 2017 models for both the Ram 1500 diesel and the Grand Cherokee diesel,” Marchionne said during a recent conference call.

Steps taken to certify 2017 Ram 1500 and 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee will provide software required to update prior models, Marchionne said.

“I think discussions are proceeding well, and I think they are a confirmation of the, certainly the goodwill that’s been established with the regulatory agencies now for a number of years, and it’s something I expect that will continue,” Marchionne said.

EPA reports that nearly 104,000 Jeeps and Ram pickups are affected.

In a press release from mid-January, Marchionne pointed out that auto manufacturers are allowed to take steps to protect their engines which may be damaged by emissions control technology.

“We have done—in our view—nothing that is illegal. If there’s anything at all that—that we may have a difference of opinion on as to what we have completely disclosed–the protection mechanisms that are allowed under the regulations to protect engines under particular circumstances,” Marchionne said.