The Department of Justice sues Fiat Chrysler for diesel emissions

The US Department of Justice today filed a civil lawsuit against automaker Fiat Chrysler (FCA) for allegedly handling emissions from its diesel engines.

The Justice Department explained that about 104,000 FCA-branded vehicles equipped with 3-liter EcoDiesel engines “are equipped with software features that were not revealed to regulators during the certification process and that vehicles have trucking devices.”

According to the demand, software features in 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2014-2016 and Ram 1500 2014-2016 allow vehicle emission control systems to behave differently during normal driving than in federal emissions testing.

The trick would conceal that the actual emissions of nitrogen dioxides from vehicles are much higher than allowed by US law.

The indictment by the federal authorities is similar to that made against Volkswagen (VW) in 2015. VW has acknowledged that it used the software to cheat the actual emissions of its diesel engines in the United States and has committed to disbursing billions of dollars in Fines and compensation.

But FCA denied the Justice Department allegations and said it was “disappointed” by the lawsuit filed today by the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources division.

FCA said in a statement that it is “reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed that the Justice Department has decided to file this lawsuit.”

The manufacturer added that it intends to “vigorously defend itself, particularly against any allegations that it has initiated any deliberate program to install apparatus to trick the US emissions test.”

Last week, FCA announced that it will modify the software of its diesel engines in the United States to ask the country’s environmental authorities to certify that the vehicles comply with the emission standards.

According to FCA, the software update improves calibrations and “responds to concerns” expressed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California environmental authorities.

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