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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles accused of using emissions cheat device; 600,000 European cars potentially affected

Autocar Thursday, 12 January 2017
FCA is accused of using illegal emissions-cheating software on more than 100,000 SUVs and trucks in the US; 600,000 European cars are also under the spotlight, including more than 4000 in the UK

More than 700,000 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cars in Europe and America are potentially fitted with emissions-cheating software, with 600,000 of these in Europe alone, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The US's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has publically accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) of using cheat software akin to that used by Volkswagen in the Dieselgate emissions scandal, according to Reuters.

FCA cars accused of cheating include the Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee, which are fitted with the manufacturer's 3.0-litre diesel engine – over 104,000 of which have been sold in the US – with cars sold since 2014 alleged to be fitted with software which ‘allowed excess diesel emissions’. 

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT), the number of cars fitted with the implicated 3.0-litre diesel engine in the UK is 4235, although it's not yet clear if all applications of this engine have the software. Nevertheless, the BBC reports that the Department for Transport (DfT) has asked the EPA for further details on the issue.

It’s not the first time FCA will have been mentioned in emissions controversies; Fiat had to answer to German regulators last spring, before being accused of using an emissions cheat device in October.

In the midst of the Volkswagen emissions scandal at the beginning of 2016, FCA also released an unprompted statement saying that its cars do not cheat emissions tests.

Volkswagen’s US emissions scandal has involved the arrest of two senior employees and charges held against five more, who are believed to be in Germany. The manufacturer agreed to pay a $4.3 billion (£3.55bn) fine to US regulators as a settlement.

FCA released the following statement in reaction to the EPA's accusation: "FCA US is disappointed that the EPA has chosen to issue a notice of violation with respect to the emissions control technology employed in the company’s 2014-16 model year light-duty 3.0-litre diesel engines.

"FCA US looks forward to the opportunity to meet with the EPA’s enforcement division and representatives of the new administration to demonstrate that FCA US’s emissions control strategies are properly justified and thus are not 'defeat devices; under applicable regulations and to resolve this matter expeditiously."
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The US Environmental Protection Agency has turned its attention to Fiat Chrysler's EcoDiesel model vehicles. On Thursday, The EPA today Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act. It alleges Fiat failed to disclose at least eight auxiliary emissions control devices in...

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