The saga of Fiat-Chrysler’s allegations into using illegal “defeat devices” to pass emission tests continues. According to Reuters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had long suspected the automaker was using such devices.
It should be noted, auxiliary emission control devices are not illegal, but each needs to be disclosed to the government and its purpose fully explained. The devices found on 104,000 U.S. 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks were never disclosed.
In an email from January 2016, Byron Bunker, director of the EPA’s Transportation and Air Quality compliance division, said he was “very concerned about the unacceptably slow pace” FCA was moving to explain the abnormally high amounts of nitrogen oxide emissions coming from the vehicles.
The email also stated the EPA told FCA officials one of its emission control devices appeared to violate regulations. That was in 2015.
Still, FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne, insists the automaker has not acted in a similar manner as Volkswagen. Where VW outright admitted to cheating, FCA and the EPA seem to disagree on where the line of illegality is crossed.