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Fiat Chrysler to modify old diesel vehicles in wake of cheating allegations

It will also seek to certify new 2017 diesels running the same software modifications.


Fiat Chrysler, keen to put to rest any allegations of diesel-emissions cheating, will be updating diesel vehicles old and new.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles intends to install modified emissions software in diesel variants of the 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2014-2016 Ram 1500, according to a company statement. At the same time, the automaker has filed an application for diesel emissions certification of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2017 Ram 1500. The 2017s feature updated emissions software, as well.

FCA believes the software update for 2014-2016 vehicles won't affect fuel economy or performance, just emissions.


Receiving emissions certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) would make these two models legal for sale in the US. Gas variants of both vehicles are already on sale in the US. Fiat Chrysler said it underwent "many months of close collaboration" with both EPA and CARB officials before applying for certification.

Certifying diesel vehicles for sale in the US has become trickier in recent months, thanks to beefed-up requirements put in place in the wake of Volkswagen's diesel scandal. Governments the world over have started investigations into Volkswagen and other diesel manufacturers that might be cheating on tests.

In January, the EPA alleged that Fiat Chrysler had violated the Clean Air Act by failing to disclose auxiliary emissions control devices in the two aforementioned models. The investigation is ongoing, but FCA said yesterday that it was in talks with the Department of Justice to settle the investigation.

"FCA US also believes that these actions should help facilitate a prompt resolution to ongoing discussions with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and other governmental agencies," the automaker said in a statement.

Since the update for older models is just software, it will only require a short trip to the dealer once the EPA and CARB sign off on the remedy. Fiat Chrysler believes that the update will only improve emissions, with no impact on fuel efficiency or performance.