The United States Department of Justice (DOJ), Natural Resources Division, is suing Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA), alleging that the company used software defeat devices in its 3.0-liter diesel-powered vehicles in model years 2014-2016. The suit is based on an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notice of violation from January 2017.

The engine management software that the EPA says was not disclosed during the accreditation process may have resulted in increased NOx emissions from Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles produced during those two model years with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine.

The lawsuit comes despite FCA’s close cooperation with the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) in testing to clarify issues related to the emissions control technologies. FCA has maintained that they were unaware that the software was not compliant.

In a statement, FCA US said that it is currently reviewing the complaint, but is “disappointed” that the DOJ-ENRD chose to file this lawsuit. FCA said it intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that it engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat US emissions tests. FCA has updated its emissions software and calibrations and is in the process of gaining EPA approval for them, at which time they will be updated in affected vehicles through a voluntary recall.

FCA expects that the installation of these updated software calibrations will improve the 2014-2016 MY vehicles’ emissions performance and does not anticipate any impact on performance or fuel efficiency.

Notwithstanding this lawsuit, the FCA said it remains committed to working cooperatively with EPA and CARB to resolve the agencies’ concerns quickly and amicably.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP) and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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