By on July 28, 2017

2017 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel

The light-duty Chrysler diesel is back. After a bevy of undeclared emissions control devices sank Fiat Chrysler Automobiles into a cauldron of hot water back in January, U.S. regulators have certified 2017 models powered by the company’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6.

Having spent the last half-year cooling their heels, unsold Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee oil-burners are once again legal for sale to torque- and economy-obsessed buyers.

FCA earned itself plenty of bad PR after the Environmental Protection Agency all but accused the automaker of a Volkswagen-like scheme to deceive the U.S. government and cheat on emissions tests. The undeclared software amounted to a violation of the Holy Grail of environmental legislation: the Clean Air Act. Software tweaks have now rendered the engine compliant, earning a certificate of conformity (also known as a thumbs up) from the EPA.

Too bad about that Justice Department lawsuit.

“The approvals announced today represent a significant step toward resolving the issues raised by EPA and ARB”, said Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in a release. “We appreciate the efforts of the agencies in working with us to achieve this milestone. We are anxious to build on this progress to make appropriate updates to the emissions control software in our earlier model year vehicles.”

EcoDiesel engines found their way into roughly 104,000 Rams and Jeeps from model years 2014 to 2016. The automaker previously said that a fix will be made available to existing owners.

“The 2017 updates include modified emissions software calibrations, with no required hardware changes,” stated FCA in a media release, “and FCA US expects that the modified calibrations will have no effect on the stated fuel economy or the performance of these vehicles.”

FCA filed a certification application for the reworked EcoDiesel back in May. Unfortunately for the automaker, it wasn’t enough to stave off a lawsuit from the Justice Department. The automaker faced a potential for billions in fines, though it isn’t known yet how the certification of 2017 models — and the potential for an older-model fix — will impact the case.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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43 Comments on “2017 Jeep and Ram EcoDiesels Are Legal Again, Baby!...”


  • avatar

    YESS!! Diesels!! It’s a real shame that diesels are being banned left and right,I think the best sedan BMW has made in this century is the 335d. Throw a little tune on it, get 600 ft pounds of torque and 400 horsepower, and 45 MPG on the highway!!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      [email protected],
      Diesels are probably the best IC engines for reducing CO2 emissions.

      The problems with diesel were they were generally overlooked or had the least prohibitive regulations placed on them in the past, due to their use in business. Farm equipment used to be similar.

      Even in the US diesel was late to improve emissions in comparison to gasoline engines. This has worked to diesel’s disadvantage.

      But, diesel will and is catching up. I remember in the early days with unleaded fuel, basic and simple emission devices the massive power losses and FE losses incurred on gasoline engines.

      Diesel has yet to have the power losses. But, you will find emission control equipment will become cheaper.

      No IC engine can offer the FE advantage of diesel, yet. Even Ford’s EcoBoost engines are not fantastic on FE.

      A full size with one of these great 3 litre diesels can get 29-30mpg and be able to tow 9 000lbs, not that I would want to tow 9 000lbs behind any 1/2 ton pickup.

      It’s great to see these engines back in the race.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I doubt diesel has much of a future in passenger cars once enough people grow up enough to realize carcinogens are an infinitely bigger problem than a bit of extra fizz in their soda. Burning a non homogeneous charge with a variable air-fuel ratio under high heat and pressure, is fundamentally much more complicated to make pollutant free, than just sticking a match to a perfectly rationed homogeneous mixture. Hence will always require much more complex emission controls and cleanup.

        For continuous high load applications, where all the needed complexity and equipment can be amortized over a huge amount of miles, that may be worth it for the higher efficiency. But for regular passenger cars in normal usage, simple (relatively speaking) rules.

        The one possible venue where diesel may shine, is in plug-in-hybrids. If the car can run on batteries in cities, the pollution problem becomes less acute. Leaving the diesel to perform highway (and Simpson Desert…) duty, which is where they are at their best. It’s still one expensive system on top of another expensive system, but that has never stopped the German technology powerhouses before….

      • 0 avatar
        nemosdad

        Al. If you make gas engines as slow as diesels you can pick up many MPG. Who wants to drive a slug?

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      You are right about the 335d…..I own one. BMW claimed 265 hp 425 lb ft but they are more like 300 hp and 500 lb ft. Ive never slowed down enough to see 45 mpg but I have seen 30 mpg while cruising at 100-120 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        iama

        TOTitan; Even if you used imperial gallons (are you?), you can’t get 30mpg at 100-120. Where are you cruising at 110mph long enough to get any kind of real reading. At those speeds, wind resistance is going to make 30mpg impossible.

        Where do you get your hp and torque claims? Are they measured? If so, how? As TTAC and other posters have mentioned, dynos aren’t calibrated against one another.

        Your entire post feels made up.

        • 0 avatar
          TOTitan

          OK here are some real numbers for you. Last June I drove from Kiowa CO to my home in Thousand Oaks CA, a distance of 1157 miles in 13.5 hours including fuel and piss stops. I stopped for fuel twice. Do the math. Regarding your other comment here is what Dieselpower mag had to say “On the dyno, we found out why the BMW felt so fast. Rated at 265 hp and 425 lb-ft at the crank, the little 3.0L inline-six in the 335d actually made 258 hp and 421 lb-ft at the wheels, making the crankshaft numbers closer to 300 hp and 525 lb-ft.”
          http://www.dieselpowermag.com/features/0912dp_2009_bmw_335d/diesel_engine.html

        • 0 avatar
          TOTitan

          From Dieselpower magazine ”
          On the dyno, we found out why the BMW felt so fast. Rated at 265 hp and 425 lb-ft at the crank, the little 3.0L inline-six in the 335d actually made 258 hp and 421 lb-ft at the wheels, making the crankshaft numbers closer to 300 hp and 525 lb-ft.” http://www.trucktrend.com/cool-trucks/0912dp-2009-bmw-335d/

        • 0 avatar
          iama

          Do the math? You didn’t provide enough info to do the math. Reinforces my “made up” theory.

          Oh wait, 1157 miles with two stops for fuel. The tank holds 16 gallons, so that’s potentially 48 gallons. 1157 / 24mpg at an average speed of 85mph. That, I am willing to believe. Granted, you also experienced a 5500 foot drop in elevation, so you were going downhill.

          Yes, I’m messing with you, but you set me up with your “do the math” statement.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Sorry I don’t for a second beleive that there will be no noticeable difference in the real world in MPG or driveablity. If it didn’t make a difference they wouldn’t have done it in the first place.

    Of course they did use the disclaimer “no effect on the stated” fuel economy since of course the emissions controls were working under the testing conditions.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I’m sure the cheat software was there for warranty/reliability advantages under certain conditions, like high temperature, high speed, or (very) cold start, rather than mpg and power (advantages), even if a slight increase in mpg and power were realized while emissions were bypassed.

      .

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Sorry, DM. When it comes to FCA it was soundly determined that the software was NOT “cheat software” but rather legitimate software that served legitimate purposes. The complaint was that some of the processes had not been filed, which is an administrative problem and not an intent to deceive.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          “…was NOT “cheat software”…”

          Call it what you want, but for the purposes of this thread, I’m sticking with “cheat software”.

          And also for the purposes of this thread, I’m calling YOU a Fiat “fanboi”.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Awww… poor DM. Can’t bear it when you’re proven wrong, can you.

            The simple fact is that the software is now legal, which means it isn’t “cheat software” which kills your argument. As for me being a “Fiat fanboi”, well, at least I tried one and found out I liked it. And you’ve already proven yourself willing only to not like whatever it is I like.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            No Vulpine the software that they originally installed in the 2017 models was not legal and not just because the “devices” were not disclosed. If that was all that it was then it would just be paper work. But no they are having to install revised software to make them legal to sell. Additionally they are going to have to recall the earlier models and update the software in them as well.

            So what they originally used was cheatware plain and simple, no questions about it, even if it was not as blatantly illegal as the VW cheatware.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Illogical argument, SD. If that were true, then how is it that FCA is now able to sell those same vehicles with the same software now? The simple fact is that they ARE legal, which means they WERE legal but had to be verified because of the VW uproar. Anything else you may suggest just encroaches on the ridiculous, reaching for an excuse when the agencies involved have already proven you wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I never “mind” being wrong, but it’s only “legal” as of today, thanks to the EPA approved software fix/update (of the illegal software).

            And I don’t “dislike” anything you “like” necessarily because you like it. Why would I care about anyone here that much anyway?

            You just make some bad choices is all!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, DM. So far the bad choices have all been yours. Every time you’ve tried to prove one of your ridiculous allegations, your very proofs have shown you wrong. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Vulpine,
          I made a comparative statement that DiM might comprehend …………. maybe? I hope?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – How is it you’re completely unaware “software” can be altered, changed, fixed, etc? I sincerely hope you’re kidding?!

            When you hear the words “update”, “tuning”, “programming”, etc, in relation to computers, haven’t you ever *wondered* what the heck the “brains” or nerds were yapping about??

            Ya trolling us or something????????

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “How is it you’re completely unaware “software” can be altered, changed, fixed, etc? I sincerely hope you’re kidding?!”

            Show me where there were ANY changes made to the software in those vehicles. You’re assuming there were but there has been nothing in any of the news article about it that says the software was changed. If you have proof (and I do mean proof, not some opinion piece with no real knowledge of the settlement) I would like to see it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Are you really that inept? If your only source of “news” on this story is FOX news, you won’t learn much about ANYTHING, especially this. I did a simple search, first article, first sentence reads as follows:

            “With *modified* software, Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel trucks from the 2017 model year finally have been approved for sale by the EPA/CARB…”

            In your defense, you gotta be trolling!

            ????????????????????

            blog.caranddriver.com/2017-ram-and-jeep-diesels-okd-for-sale-by-epa/

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Denver Mike: You would have been much better off if you’d been a little closer to the source; but at least this does confirm the modifications. So I’ll give you this one:

            “The 2017 updates include modified emissions software calibrations, with no required hardware changes,” stated FCA in a media release, “and FCA US expects that the modified calibrations will have no effect on the stated fuel economy or the performance of these vehicles.”

            By the way, my source is Marccione himself; your source was an automotive blog that didn’t go into detail.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Why do you constantly carpet boom the comments section, knowing absolutely nothing on the subject or topic???

            Did you not bother reading the article you’re commenting on? You must have gone straight to the “comments”, since the answers you were looking for are right there, all over it! You didn’t even need an outside source.

            I don’t care what Marccione said. It was probably carefully worded vagueness (by FCA lawyers) to save face, yet tell no lies. Either way, you were mislead. Hint: Always seek a higher authority than those defending themselves, their corporation or their client!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Why do I do it, DM? Because you’re wrong far more often than you’re right and I love it when you get so mad you don’t even know what you’re saying. Your own response to my previous comment actually giving you credit for once simply shows you have to find something wrong with everything I say, no matter if it agrees with you or not. The simple fact that you call a direct quote, “… carefully worded vagueness” without even reading what he said is proof of that.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Big Al from OZ
            Surprising that vehicles that were illegal by the EPA and an Independent lab now are ” clean” LOL
            Unlike VW, a lot of Americans depend on FCA products

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @Robert Ryan, did you fail to read the article like Vulpine? It is taking a modified software calibration to make them legal to sell and it is expected that the previous year models will also get recalled for a new emissions calibration.

            So while it may not be a bad as VW’s cheating it was enough that the EPA required a change to obtain certification.

            Also note the carefully worded statement that they don’t believe it will have any effect on the fuel economy rating. In other words the rating will stay the same since the software was written to properly control emissions under test conditions and the emissions test is the fuel economy test. So expect a real world drop in mpg for those owners of the older models that receive the updated calibration.

            There is no free lunch and normally businesses don’t cheat just because they can cheat. They cheat to gain an advantage or to save money.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yep I’m ignorant to exactly what Marccione said, and I’m perfectly fine with it. I don’t care what he said, I put zero value in it, and it’s irrelevant to the topic here.

            I’m right a very high percentage of the time, ’cause I actually research my position BEFORE commenting, even if I’m 99.9% sure I’m not wrong. You see, I actually know how to use a search engine (like Google).

            With your lack of any kind of computer/internet knowledge, it’s a wonder how you even get here (TTAC)!?

            And no one’s comments have ever made me mad. Not even Robert R or BAFO.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And yet again, DM, you prove your intentional ignorance. What Marccione said is absolutely relevant to the discussion because it is how he responded to the charges in the first place that means FCA diesels are coming back. Using a search engine, Google specifically, tends to make it easy to find confirmation to your bias without any aspect of balance.

            And yes, your words do prove your feelings. Any perceptive reader can see them.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    As I said before, that lawsuit was nothing but a witch hunt that in this case has fallen flat on its face.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    A certain Australian will be so happy.

    He won’t need to do what “the Mooch” said about Bannon.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Lou_BC
      I am the other Australian actually there are three of us , who are regulars on this blog. Diesels it was announced yesterday make up 22% of all vehicles sold and Pickups have a 92% take up rate for diesels

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        RobertRyan,
        We in Australia have quite a high rate of petrol engine vehicles.

        It’s just we were smart enough to realise diesel is great for larger and heavier vehicles, like pickups and SUVs.

        The reality is why do want to have a engine like a EcoBoost that would average >15mpg? Why not something that has similar torque and 25mpg?

        It’s not rocket science, even truck business see this and truckies aren’t reknown as the smartest around.

        Some do buy diesel cars, but I don’t know the extent. If your figures are accurate diesel cars are not a large component of the vehicle market.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – It’s not that Australians are “smarter”, except it’s only been a few months since your diesel pickups and SUVs have been totally “Euro 6” compliant. Australia delayed requiring “Euro 6” emissions (meaning no more dirty, pre emissions diesels like your very own Mazda) until very recently.

          Your diesel pickups and (some) SUV are mostly sold in places like Africa and SE Asia that still don’t require “Euro 6” compliance.

          Most of your “cars” for sale “down undah” have been “Euro 6” for many years, since the same cars are for sale in “1st World” places that have required Euro 6 (and US2010) for a few years. Meaning it’s too expensive to produce a different “Australia only”, “emissions exempt” version of a car, just because Australia has so been lax on requiring Euro 6.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It good to see the regulators saw fit to let these engines go.

    I suppose FCA should “licenced” the engine a little better. Sort of like driving a car without a renewed licence.

    Not renewing, or even completing a driving test doesn’t mean you don’t know how to drive. I just means the “regulators” have no means of knowing if you do.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “It good to see the regulators saw fit…”

      @BAFO – FCA fixed the illegal software… Why would the regulators NOT let these diesels engines to go??

  • avatar
    shaker

    I don’t see why they’re harassing these particulate vehicles; there are plenty of children around to soak up the soot.

  • avatar
    RS

    Ram sales should see a upward trend for the next couple of months.

    Will that diesel Wrangler will be available sooner??

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    From what I can tell, the cheat software would prevent or delay “regen” mode, under extreme operating conditions, to greatly reduce the chances of a damaged engine, turbo or emissions equipment.

  • avatar
    rreichar

    I recently traded in my 2016 Ram 1500 diesel. It was re-flashed by the dealer at the 10,000 mile oil change. The mileage for my commute went from 30 to 22-23. Still a great truck but not the same vehicle I bought. I bought a 2017 GTI SE for half the price and I am enjoying it just as much. I love diesels and trucks but I spend a lot of time in downtown Austin and don’t miss trying to parl a full-sized truck.

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