Diesel Cars

Fiat Chrysler gets the green light for 2017 diesel sales

The post-Dieselgate approval process is no joke, especially when the feds are accusing you of cheating like VW did.

Ram

Thanks to a certain someone (Volkswagen), it's rather difficult to get new diesel models certified for sale in the United States. Fiat Chrysler kept at it, though, and now it has the green light to put some oil burners on sale.

The EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced Friday that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is allowed to sell its 2017-model-year diesel vehicles in the US. The 3.0-liter diesel engines are limited to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and the Ram 1500 pickup.

Both the Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee market their oil burners under the "EcoDiesel" tag, so let's hope the "Eco" part actually rings true, aside from fuel economy.

Jeep

In order to get cleared for sale, Fiat Chrysler will reportedly update its emissions software, which was a point of concern for regulators prior to approval.

Regulators accused FCA of using "undisclosed emissions controls" in its US-market diesel vehicles, which would allow the vehicles to pollute above legal limits when in owners' hands, and the US Justice Department took them to court over it.

FCA said the regulators' claims were bunk, but it has apparently conceded to pressure regarding updated emissions control software, which is reported to leave both performance and fuel economy unaffected.

"The approvals announced today represent a significant step toward resolving the issues raised by EPA and ARB," said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler, in a statement. "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."

According to Reuters, it could take "weeks or months" to get the 2017 software update approved for use in older diesel Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s.