Sergio Vs. Schneiderman: New York A.G. Dives Into the Fiat Chrysler Emissions Controversy
Well known as a leading voice in the fight against climate change and a host of other progressive issues, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman now has Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in his sights.
After yesterday’s bombshell announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency, in which the regulator accused FCA of violating federal laws with its 3.0-liter diesel Jeep and Ram models, Scheiderman revealed that his office will investigate the automaker.
A noted environmental attack dog, Schneiderman isn’t the guy you want on your tail.
The EPA claims that it found at least eight auxiliary emissions control devices on diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models. Those devices, which FCA did not reveal during the models’ certification process, cause the roughly 104,000 vehicles to emit excess nitrogen oxide pollution. That leads to smog, the EPA’s largest foe.
In a statement that draws obvious parallels with Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, assistant EPA administrator Cynthia Giles said, “Some of the devices appear to cause the vehicle to perform differently when being tested and when in use.”
FCA could face billions of dollars in fines if found guilty of evading emissions laws.
Late yesterday, Schneiderman issued a release claiming he was “deeply troubled” by the EPA evidence.
“My office will not tolerate attempts by any company to evade our environmental laws and pollute the air we breathe,” Schneiderman wrote. “As such, my office will investigate the claims against Fiat Chrysler and stands ready to work with our state and federal partners to ensure that any violations are pursued to the fullest extent of the law.”
FCA’s Sergio Marchionne wasn’t staying tight-lipped yesterday. The CEO blasted the EPA findings, claiming that his company operates above board and that its vehicles conform to regulations.
Speaking to reporters, Marchionne said FCA “has nothing in common” with Volkswagen’s diesel deception, adding that anyone who thinks otherwise is “smoking illegal material.”
[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]
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