Years after Volkswagen’s infamous “dieselgate” scandal, in which it was discovered that the German automaker was equipping its diesel-powered passenger vehicles with a so-called “cheat device” to pass emissions testing, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is reportedly preparing to stop offering diesel engines in any passenger cars. FCA has had its own emissions-related issues with diesel engines, being accused last year of using a cheat device to pass US emissions testing while its RAM 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models allegedly emitted dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx) at levels many times higher than what is legally allowed.
That case is ongoing, and most recently, the US Department of Justice said that any settlement would require FCA to recall some 104k vehicles and pay “very substantial civil penalties.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is facing trouble for its diesel emissions overseas, too, and some governments are pressuring Volkswagen, FCA, and others to kill off their diesel engine options in passenger cars. According to The Financial Times (paywalled), the automaker is now planning to do just that, phasing out the Fiat 500X diesel, Alfa Romeo Giulia diesel, and other oil-burning car models not offered in the US. A formal announcement is expected to come on June 1st, when the automaker outlines a new four-year plan.
Notably, the decision isn’t expected to affect trucks and utilities like the forthcoming replacement for the RAM 1500 EcoDiesel or the future Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel, minimizing the decision’s impact in North America. However, the affect in Europe could be sizable, as diesel passenger cars currently make up about 40 percent of FCA’s sales in Europe.