EPA NOTIFIES FIAT CHRYSLER OF CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATIONS

FCA allegedly installed and failed to disclose software that increases air pollution from vehicles

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and FCA US LLC (collectively FCA) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for installing and failing to disclose engine management software in light-duty model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0 liter diesel engines sold in the United States. The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the vehicles. The allegations cover roughly 104,000 vehicles. EPA is working in coordination with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has also issued a notice of violation to FCA. EPA and CARB have both initiated investigations based on FCA’s alleged actions.

“Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.”

“Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.”

The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to demonstrate to EPA through a certification process that their products meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. As part of the certification process, automakers are required to disclose and explain any software, known as auxiliary emission control devices, that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution. FCA did not disclose the existence of certain auxiliary emission control devices to EPA in its applications for certificates of conformity for model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, despite being aware that such a disclosure was mandatory. By failing to disclose this software and then selling vehicles that contained it, FCA violated important provisions of the Clean Air Act.

FCA may be liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief for the violations alleged in the NOV. EPA is also investigating whether the auxiliary emission control devices constitute “defeat devices,” which are illegal.

In September 2015, EPA instituted an expanded testing program to screen for defeat devices on light duty vehicles. This testing revealed that the FCA vehicle models in question produce increased NOx emissions under conditions that would be encountered in normal operation and use. As part of the investigation, EPA has found at least eight undisclosed pieces of software that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution.

FCA US LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., a multinational corporation.

To read the notice of violation, click this link fca-caa-nov-2017-01-12 

 

FCA US Response to EPA Statement

 

FCA US, the US subsidiary of FCA N.V. issued today the following press release.

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-liter diesel engines.

FCA US intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and FCA US customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements.

FCA US diesel engines are equipped with state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware, including selective catalytic reduction (SCR). Every auto manufacturer must employ various strategies to control tailpipe emissions in order to balance EPA’s regulatory requirements for low nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and requirements for engine durability and performance, safety and fuel efficiency. FCA US believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements.

FCA US has spent months providing voluminous information in response to requests from EPA and other governmental authorities and has sought to explain its emissions control technology to EPA representatives. FCA US has proposed a number of actions to address EPA’s concerns, including developing extensive software changes to our emissions control strategies that could be implemented in these vehicles immediately to further improve emissions performance.

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.

Auburn Hills, January 12, 2017

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Diesel Vehicle Violations

Learn About FCA Violations

Overview

EPA issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and FCA US LLC (collectively FCA) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for installing and failing to disclose engine management software in certain light-duty diesel vehicles sold in the United States. The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The Clean Air Act requires vehicle manufacturers to demonstrate to EPA through a certification process that their products meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution. As part of the certification process, automakers are required to disclose and explain any software, known as auxiliary emission control devices, that can alter how a vehicle emits air pollution. FCA did not disclose the existence of auxiliary emission control devices to EPA in its applications for certificates of conformity for model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500’s, despite being aware that such a disclosure was mandatory. By failing to disclose this software and then selling vehicles that contained it, FCA violated important provisions of the Clean Air Act.

EPA is also investigating whether the auxiliary emission control devices constitute “defeat devices,” which are illegal.

Coordination with California

EPA is working in coordination with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has also issued a notice of violation to FCA. EPA and CARB have both initiated investigations based on FCA’s alleged actions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What vehicles are affected?

Dodge Ram 1500, 3.0 Liter Diesel Engine (Model Years 2014-2016)
Jeep Grand Cherokee, 3.0 Liter Diesel Engine (Model Years 2014-2016)

How many of the affected vehicles were sold in the U.S.?

The allegations cover roughly 104,000 vehicles sold in the United States.

What should I do if I own an affected 3.0-liter diesel Dodge Ram or Jeep Grand Cherokee?

There is nothing you need to do at this time.

Can I continue to drive my vehicle?

Yes. These cars are safe and legal to drive. Owners do not need to take any action at this time.

Will EPA take or confiscate my vehicle?

Absolutely not. EPA will not confiscate your vehicle or require you to stop driving. You will not be charged for any action that may eventually be required.

Can EPA require FCA to recall these vehicles?

Yes. EPA has the authority under section 207 of the Clean Air Act to require a manufacturer to issue a recall when EPA determines that a substantial number of vehicles do not conform to EPA regulations.

Is EPA requiring FCA to issue a recall now?

No. Any follow up action, including the need for a recall, will be determined as part of the ongoing investigation.

I live in an area that requires periodic emissions tests. What happens if my car fails?

It is unlikely that the presence of the software will cause your vehicle to fail. The software has been installed in the affected FCA 3.0-liter diesels since 2014. To date, EPA has no indication of any pattern failures with these vehicles during inspection and maintenance emission tests.

Can I turn off the software?

No. The software is embedded in the code that runs the engine control computer.

What pollutants are being emitted?

Vehicles emit an array of pollutants. EPA standards control the allowable emission levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, and certain toxic chemicals. The FCA software affects the way the NOx control system operates, resulting in higher NOx emission levels from these vehicles than from vehicles with properly operating emission controls.

How does NOx pollution affect people’s health?

NOx pollution contributes to atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide, ground-level ozone, and fine particulate matter. Exposure to these pollutants has been linked with a range of serious health effects, including increased asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses that can be serious enough to send people to the hospital. Exposure to ozone and particulate matter have also been associated with premature death due to respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects. Children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing respiratory disease are particularly at risk for health effects of these pollutants.

 



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