2017 Jeep and Ram EcoDiesels Are Legal Again, Baby!

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Jul 30, 2017

    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.

  • Rreichar Rreichar on Jul 31, 2017

    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.

    • See 1 previous
    • Vulpine Vulpine on Jul 31, 2017

      So what you're saying, rreichar, is that the full-sized truck was too big for your needs. Right?

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