Fiat Chrysler seeks diesel emission certification from EPA

2014 Ram 1500 with Eco Diesel engine

2014 Ram 1500 with Eco Diesel engine

The automaker believes the software fix it has proposed will resolve concerns from the federal government and the California Air Resources Board and clear the way for it to finally sell more than 104,000 SUVs and pickups.

Jeeps and Ram pickups with the company's 3.0-liter diesel engines are one step closer to going back on sale in the USA after the automaker announced Friday it would resubmit those vehicles to federal testers. If the fix is approved, FCA also plans to update the emissions software in all model year 2014 to 2016 vehicles fit with the 3.0-liter diesel.

M - Amid investigations into alleged emissions violations from its 3.0-liter diesel V-6, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said it's asked regulators to greenlight the sale of the engine in certain model-year 2017 vehicles with updated emissions software. Gasoline versions of both models are now on sale, but the diesels (or any vehicle, 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.

Friday's announcement came a day after the company said it was in talks to resolve a Justice Department investigation.

The Justice Department has been investigating Fiat Chrysler since the EPA in January accused the carmaker of violating clean-air rules. Fiat said in its statement it "believes that these actions should help facilitate a prompt resolution" with the Justice Department.

The company already faces accusations in Europe that its cars produce far more nitrogen oxides in normal driving than during tests.

Approval might also signal a positive effort to avoid the kind of scandal that roiled Volkswagen over diesel emissions cheating.

In the latest instance, the USA university researcher who exposed Volkswagen's emissions scandal said that tests of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500 had revealed major discrepancies between road and lab emissions.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA), attempting to reach a settlement with USA regulators following studies that show the automaker installed emissions-cheating software, has said that it will modify around 100,000 diesel vehicles.

The company fired back at the hint that its cars cheated emissions tests by saying that the devices prolonged the engines' lives. A diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee produced up to five times as much.

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 told the European Parliament a year ago that the vehicle was not programmed to detect emissions tests or to deactivate the pollution control equipment after a certain period of time.

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