After months of working with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is now permitted to produce and sell Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs for the 2017 model year powered by the automaker’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6. The EPA has granted FCA a certificate of conformity for the engine, and the CARB has given it a conditional executive order.
FCA and its 3.0-liter diesel V6 were subject to scrutiny earlier in the year when it was alleged that the automaker had intentionally installed emissions “cheat devices” in order to pass testing. Company CEO Sergio Marchionne denies that FCA had intentionally tried to mislead regulators by not disclosing the engine controller’s Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices (AECDs) – software that allows the engine to bypass its normal, emissions-compliant operation modes in certain conditions – saying the automaker would never “try something as stupid as cheating on diesel tests.”
To bring its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel into compliance, Fiat Chrysler has devised new engine calibrations for 2017 model-year vehicles, which should have no effect on performance or fuel economy, according to the automaker. Additionally, FCA is seeking permission from the regulatory agencies to apply a version of the same software to 2014-’16 EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees.
“The approvals announced today represent a significant step toward resolving the issues raised by EPA and ARB,” says FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. “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.”