FCA Calls EPA Diesel Negotiations ‘Pretty Intense’

fiat chrsyler fca headquarters

An Environmental Protection Agency investigation into Fiat Chrysler’s diesel vehicle certification continues, but that’s not stopping FCA stock from going up on Wall Street.  According to Forbes, shares are on their way up this week because investors are encouraged by an expected profit boost from Maserati.

Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne claims the company is involved in “pretty intense discussions” with both the EPA and California Air Resources Board over certification for diesel vehicles that allegedly violate the Clean Air Act. He’s adamant FCA has not cheated on emissions tests like Volkswagen did and believes the issue could be resolved by simply re-flashing the ECU.

Many Car Pro Show listeners have asked me what to do at this point, and my advice is still the same:  nothing for now.

This all stems from an investigation into the EcoDiesel-powered Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Investigators claim FCA implemented a list of emission-control software provisions, known as auxiliary emissions control devices, which it didn’t disclose in certification filings. 

“The EPA has determined that, unless FCA can establish that the undisclosed AECDs qualify for one of the narrow exclusions provided under the applicable regulations, one or more of the AECDs … would constitute defeat devices that reduce the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emission control system,” the agency wrote earlier.

FCA has insisted that its software does not employ the type of ‘defeat device’ that got Volkswagen into trouble.  Only time will tell. Marchionne believes the dispute can be solved by simply re-flash the ECU, presumably removing or modifying some or all of the AECDs that are at the heart of the EPA’s complaint.

“I think discussions are proceeding well, and I think they are a confirmation of the goodwill that’s been established with the regulatory agencies now for a number of years, and it’s something I expect that will continue,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

If the EPA does certify the 2017 model-year vehicles, FCA could still face enforcement action for years of violations. The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly pursuing its own investigation, suggesting federal prosecutors are attempting to determine if the accusations warrant criminal charges.

Photo Credit: FCA
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