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Fiat Chrysler cheated on emissions tests, says EPA

The EPA has accused Fiat Chrysler of emissions cheating in its Dodge Ram Trucks and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

One day after Volkswagen was slapped with a multi-billion dollar fine for its emissions scandal involving 11 million vehicles, Fiat Chrysler has been accused of the same wrongdoing in its Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has accused Fiat Chrysler of emissions cheating in its Dodge Ram Trucks and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The EPA has accused Fiat Chrysler of emissions cheating in its Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The EPA said Fiat Chrysler used software the allowed about 104,000 of its 3.0-liter diesel vehicles made from 2014 to 2016 to cheat on the test.

The Dodge Ram pickup was the third best-selling vehicle in the United States in 2016. The Jeep Grand Cherokee was the country’s 19th best-selling vehicle.

Janet McCabe, head of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said “no immediate actions are necessary” for owners of the vehicles targeted. She assured owners those vehicles “continue to be safe and legal to drive.”

According to a report in the Washington Post and in other media outlets, the software allowed the vehicles to emit more nitrogen oxide than is allowed under the Clean Air Act. The scheme was brought to light after the EPA expanded its vehicle testing to look for so-called defeat devices in September 2015 following the Volkswagen scandal

“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,” Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statement.

Fiat Chrysler officials denied those claims in a statement. Every automaker must use “various strategies” to reduce tailpipe emissions without compromising the durability and performance of its engines, FCA said, adding its emission control system complies with necessary requirements.

“Every automaker must use ‘various strategies’ to reduce tailpipe emissions without compromising the durability and performance of its engines, FCA said. It added its emission control system complies with necessary requirements.

The company also said it has offered to make extensive changes to its software to address EPA concerns.

The news caused Fiat Chrysler’s stock price to drop more than 13 percent in trading on Jan. 12.

EPA officials said they are looking into whether other automakers may be using similar devices.

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