The EPA said around 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram pickups from the 2014-2016 model years are affected.
In January of this year, the EPA delivered a violation notice to FCA, alleging that about 100,000 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 vehicles fit with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine were sold with at least eight pieces of software that were not disclosed to the agency, meant to cheat emissions tests. 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.
Just a day after sources pointed to a possible loggerheads between the Justice department and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over diesel emissions, the automaker announced Friday it would submit those vehicles for testing with fixes. The EPA cited FCA for emissions violations in January. The company said it will also seek permission to modify the 2014-2016 versions of the diesels that are in dispute to end the standoff with federal regulators. FCA says the update will reduce emissions without impacting engine performance or fuel efficiency.
Nonetheless, the stop-sale prevented those models from being sold in the USA until the automaker corrected the issues. The company agreed to pay $4.3 billion in a criminal settlement and more than $17 billion in civil settlements after USA regulators uncovered so-called defeat devices, which change how a vehicle performs during or outside of testing, on VW diesels in 2015. Gasoline versions of both models are now on sale, but the diesels (or any auto, for that matter) can't be sold in the US without emissions certification, and it's unclear how long the EPA will take to approve or reject FCA's application.
The company fired back at the hint that its cars cheated emissions tests by saying that the devices prolonged the engines' lives.
The emission-cheating scheme has cost Volkswagen more than $20 billion in fines and settlements, in addition to goodwill among some USA drivers.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV filed a proposed fix to its diesel engines that the carmaker predicts will resolve negotiations with the Justice Department and other US regulators.
The Auburn Hills, Michigan, company said that if its application is approved by the agencies, vehicle owners would be able to get the software updates at their dealerships, but did not give a time frame.