Fiat Chrysler set to produce more diesel vehicles post-emissions scandal
VW aren’t the only ones who have reportedly been cheating emissions testing. Fiat Chrysler were alleged to have been doing the same as well.
Upon finding out about their alleged cheating, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibited the manufacturer from making diesels in the U.S. Since then however, there’s been a rumour in the mill that Fiat are making diesels again, and are set to be selling them once more.
What vehicles were involved?
Fiat Chrysler are modifying some 100,000 vehicles after they were accused of installing software in Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles to “cheat” emissions testing – software that’s been said to be similar to VW’s so-called “defeat device”. The manufacturer tried to reach a settlement with U.S. regulators to resolve the U.S. Justice Department investigation. Though the financial penalties are likely going to be a lot less costly than VW, the penalties for cheating could still be pricey.
In May, Fiat said it would modify the Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles in the 2014 through to 2016 model years with “updated emissions software calibrations.”
During the U.S. regulators’ investigations, Ram pickup vehicles were ordered off the market. This could’ve been to allow time for a verdict from the EPA to decide whether or not the manufacturer will be able to place the vehicles back on the market.
New diesels produced…
A spokesperson for the manufacturer said that Fiat had been building a small number of the Ram vehicles in July. These have yet to be approved by the EPA, but according to a close source, the EPA are close to deciding whether or not to approve the Ram pickups and Jeep vehicles for sale as 2017 models.
What the EPA is probably considering is whether the diesel-powered engines are viable. The VW cheating emissions scandal has certainly tarnished the EPA and the California Air Resources Board’s perception of diesel vehicles.
Ban on diesels?
This move may not be a surprise as the U.K. are planning on banning the sale of any new diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040. Michael Gove, the Environmental Secretary, supports this in a bid to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles to prevent damage to peoples’ health and the planet as a whole.
This may influence other countries to follow suit.
Denial of any wrongdoing
Fiat Chrysler’s CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has deflected the allegations of wrongdoing from the company, stating they weren’t trying to deceive regulators, nor were they trying to circumvent clean-air regulations. Mr Marchionne states:
“I’m confident of the fact that there was no intention on our part to set up a defeat device that was even remotely similar to what VW had in their cars.”
Is the Fiat 500X also using a “defeat device”?
Researchers from the University of the Ruhr in Bochum, Germany, and the University of California, San Diego, claimed they found evidence of a potential “defeat device” in a diesel Fiat 500X sold in Europe. According to the study, the engine’s software reduced pollution controls 26 minutes after the vehicle started.
A normal standard emissions tests procedure lasts just less than 26 minutes…
Fiat reportedly failed to provide a response to the allegations of the alleged cheating of the Fiat 500X.
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