Diesel Ram, Jeep models resubmitted to EPA; closer to sale now?

May 19, 2017

Jeeps and Ram pickups with the company's 3.0-liter diesel engines are one step closer to going back on sale in the U.S. after the automaker announced Friday it would resubmit those vehicles to federal testers.

In a statement, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said that it filed an application to sell 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2017 Ram 1500 models fitted with its EcoDiesel-branded engine. The SUVs and trucks were in limbo after a January announcement by the EPA that it had discovered up to eight undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices on those trucks that altered performance on emissions tests.

The company fired back at the hint that its cars cheated emissions tests by saying that the devices prolonged the engines' lives.

"They cannot be classified as defeat devices because we're trying to defeat nothing," FCA chief Sergio Marchionne said in January. "These were mechanisms that were put in place to protect the engine in particular circumstances when the engine was under load."

Nonetheless, the stop-sale prevented those models from being sold in the U.S. until the automaker corrected the issues. FCA said in a statement Friday that it had done that, working in collaboration with the EPA and the California Air Resources Board, and older models equipped with the engine would be recalled to install the new software.

"FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles," the automaker said in a statement and added that the fix likely would not compromise performance or fuel economy.

What wasn't immediately clear from the statement was whether the automaker would still face fines for selling cars and trucks equipped with undisclosed AECDs, which is illegal. The potential fine for each vehicle sold could reach as high as $44,539.

Officials from the EPA declined to comment on the story.

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