FCA Proposes Software Fix to Solve Diesel Dispute

After months of negotiations with regulations agencies, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has formally put forward an application to certify its 2017 model-year diesels. 

These vehicles have received updated emissions software calibration which FCA believes will make both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) happy. If the fix is approved, FCA also plans to update the emissions software in all model year 2014 to 2016 vehicles fit with the 3.0-liter diesel.

In January of this year, the EPA delivered a violation notice to FCA, alleging that about 100,000 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 vehicles fit with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine were sold with at least eight pieces of software that were not disclosed to the agency, meant to cheat emissions tests. The agency also stopped FCA from certifying its 2017 3.0-liter diesel model.

Further pressure was added this past week when news broke that the U.S. Department of Justice is gearing up to sue FCA over the issue if it is not resolved promptly.

Since the beginning, FCA has been clear in saying that the software is not a “defeat device,” or there to intentionally fool regulators. The brand has been involved closely with the EPA and CARB to clarify exactly how its emissions control software works and has developed a fix it thinks will be satisfactory.

FCA would not comment on exactly what the changes will be, though the company says that it “does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency.” All owners of affected 2014-2016 vehicles will have to visit their dealership for the update, if approved.

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