Sunday 21 January 2018

Fiat Chrysler accused over emissions

Jeep Grand Cherokees on display at a Fiat Chrysler dealership in Doral, Florida (Alan Diaz/AP)
Jeep Grand Cherokees on display at a Fiat Chrysler dealership in Doral, Florida (Alan Diaz/AP)

The US government has accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to disclose software in some of its pick-up trucks and SUVs with diesel engines that allows them to emit more pollution than allowed under the Clean Air Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a statement that it issued a "notice of violation" to the company that covers about 104,000 vehicles, including the 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pick-ups, all with three-litre diesel engines.

The California Air Resources Board took similar action.

"Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle's engine is a serious violation of the law which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe," said Cynthia Giles, EPA assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance.

The EPA said it will continue to investigate the "nature and impact" of the devices.

The agency said FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) may be liable for civil penalties for the alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

The EPA is investigating whether the auxiliary emission control devices constitute "defeat devices", which are illegal because they turn off pollution controls.

Fiat Chrysler's shares fell more than 16% after the news was announced.

The announcement comes one day after Fiat rival Volkswagen pleaded guilty in federal court to criminal charges related to widespread cheating involving emissions tests with its Clean Diesel line of vehicles.

Six high-ranking VW executives have been charged over the scandal.

VW agreed to pay a record 4.3 billion dollar (£3.5 billion) penalty for cheating on emissions tests.


Press Association

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