By on May 19, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

After being forbidden from selling 2017 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel V6, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hoping for a little love from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA suspended the certification process in January after discovering eight undeclared auxiliary emissions control devices on the EcoDiesel models. The existence of the software, installed in those vehicles since the 2014 model year, earned FCA a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act. Since then, the automaker has attempted to work with environmental regulators to smooth over the controversy, even as its mailbox filled with subpoenas from federal and state authorities.

Yesterday, we learned the Justice Department was readying a lawsuit against FCA. With the potential for billions of dollars in fines staring it in the face, FCA has whipped up a new application in the hopes of placating the EPA and selling some light-duty diesels.

This morning, the automaker announced it had filed an application for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the EPA and California Air Resources Board for the Ram and Jeep models. This time around, the models come equipped with “updated emissions software calibrations.”

In a release, FCA stated:

The filing is the result of many months of close collaboration between FCA US and EPA and CARB, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology. With the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles.

FCA US also believes that these actions should help facilitate a prompt resolution to ongoing discussions with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and other governmental agencies.

As part of its attempt to appease regulators, FCA claims it will make the software updates available to owners of 2014-2016 Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel owners through their dealership. The automaker says it doesn’t expect “any impact on performance or fuel efficiency.”

FCA denied it was attempting to pull a fast one on the EPA, with CEO Sergio Marchionne saying at the time, “We’re not trying to break the bloody law.” The maximum fine FCA could face for each of the 104,000 affected vehicles stands at $44,539 — a $4.6 billion price tag.

There has so far been no response from the EPA, meaning it could be a tense weekend in Auburn Hills.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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15 Comments on “Let’s Try This Again: Fiat Chrysler Attempts to Certify 2017 Diesel Rams and Jeeps, Avoid Fines...”

  • avatar

    Hopefully, the new administration will soften the blow in regards to insignificant emissions BS thrown at the manufacturers by a rogue, out of control EPA. We all want clean air and water, but let’s not get ridiculous…

  • avatar

    Nothing to see! Totally different from VW: Just a slight software calibration issue, fixed with the next update.

  • avatar

    “We’re not trying to break the bloody law.”

    Bend not break plus take advantage of any opening.

    • 0 avatar

      “Bend not break plus take advantage of any opening.”

      As does every manufacturer in an attempt to save a few pennies…in the case of these multiple manufacturer issues with diesel emissions it appears to be an attempt at retaining a balance of fuel economy, power, and reliability. No doubt a tough act to juggle.
      As said above, this does not appear to be nearly as flagrant as VW.

    • 0 avatar

      Now the EU has it against FCA and Italy
      Should be a lot of fun

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Let’s face the facts. The days of diesel getting a pass on emissions are over. It’s getting pretty obvious that meeting emissions targets and keeping costs down and performance at expected levels is not working for light duty diesel engines. This combined with the premium cost of diesel (and don’t even start comparing it to premium gasoline) has effectively killed light duty diesel in the US.

  • avatar

    I had my 2015 RAM 1500 EcoD for 18 months and had 3 software reflashes just in that period of time…So EcoDiesel owners will not be intimidated by additional software updates…It was 32,000 trouble free miles for the most part…the updates were mainly to fix things like overly sensitive EGR valve warnings and similar false check engine warnings.

    I have a 2017 Ridgeline now but it sucks that the EPA had/has to torture FCA about this power plant…

  • avatar
    No Nickname Required

    Those FCA engineers must have been working around the clock for the past 24 hours to complete that “extensive testing”.

    Seriously though, I fail to see why FCA has been dragging their feet about this whole issue. It seems to me that if they are telling the truth they have nothing to hide. Just disclose what the software is and what it does and let the EPA see for themselves.

    • 0 avatar

      From what I understand they have released to EPA the issue seems to be they did not file the proper paperwork disclosing the programing earlier. I have not heard if the EPA would have allowed it had they filed the paperwork, which seems to be FCAs contention.

      It seems what the software does is in a grey area where the EPA may have allowed it had it been disclosed.

      • 0 avatar

        That was my understanding as well. The undisclosed controls are what got them into trouble. The EPA thinks they may or may not be a defeat device but don’t know since the paperwork was not filed for the controls.

    • 0 avatar
      No Nickname Required

      Thanks for the clarification guys. It makes more sense now.

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