Fiat Chrysler Hit With Subpoenas as Feds, States Demand EcoDiesel Answers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fiat chrysler hit with subpoenas as feds states demand ecodiesel answers

The fallout from the Environmental Protection Agency’s call-out of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over excess EcoDiesel emissions has now landed in the company’s lap. Or, more specifically, in its mailbox.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, FCA revealed it’s been hit with subpoenas from state and federal authorities, including the SEC, Reuters reports.

The need for answers comes after the EPA accused the automaker of failing to declare eight auxiliary emissions control devices installed on its 3.0-liter diesel V6, which the regulator claims emits illegally high levels of emissions. That engine found a home in roughly 104,000 Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees.

FCA’s annual filing states the automaker has “received various inquiries, subpoenas and requests for information from a number of governmental authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC and several states’ attorneys general.”

“We are investigating these matters and we intend to cooperate with all valid governmental requests,” the company added.

On January 12, Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of the EPA, said that failing to declare the emissions control devices constituted a violation of the Clean Air Act. Giles demanded that FCA “demonstrate why we shouldn’t conclude that these (devices) are defeat devices” — a reference to Volkswagen’s infamous emissions-cheating software.

While the proliferation of FCA’s two 3.0-liter diesel models pales next to VW’s oil burners, the EPA’s penalty would still be steep. FCA would have to pay a $4.6 billion fine if found guilty of violating the Act. That could prove disastrous for an automaker already low on cash.

Resolving this controversy “could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows and may adversely affect our reputation with consumers, which may negatively impact demand for our vehicles,” FCA wrote in its filing.

Apparently, the groundwork for the EPA’s bombshell accusation — and subsequent Justice Department investigation — had been in the works for some time. Sources told Reuters that the Justice Department received a referral from the EPA last July.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Kyree Kyree on Mar 01, 2017

    Yeah, VW Group was able to afford the $18 billion---or whatever the number was; I don't think FCA could swing $5 billion at a time when they're already delaying R&D expenditures on their most-popular models.

  • Pan Pan on Mar 02, 2017

    Given the problems that major manufacturers VW and FCA, are having, and probably more to come, with their Diesel engines not meeting emission standards, perhaps the standards are set too high and are not realistic. Maybe we should look more closely at them instead of blaming the car companies for not meeting the unachievable.

  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.
  • RHD Any truth to the unconfirmed rumor that the new, larger model will be called the bZ6X? We could surmise that with a generous back seat it certainly should be!
  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.