Fiat Chrysler seeks diesel emission certification from EPA

Diesel Ram, Jeep models resubmitted to EPA; closer to sale now?

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. Fiat Chrysler is seeking permission from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to sell the SUVs and trucks after updating emissions software calibrations.

The automaker applied for diesel-vehicle emissions certification Friday for the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility vehicle and Ram 1500 pickup, according to a statement.

Further pressure was added this past week when news broke that the U.S. Department of Justice is gearing up to sue FCA over the issue if it is not resolved promptly. But FCA says any litigation would be "counterproductive" to its talks with the EPA.

The automaker said Friday the update should resolve the agencies' concerns about the emissions software in those vehicles.

FCA shares fell 1 percent to $10.44 in midday trading.

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Fiat Chrysler says it will modify about 100,000 diesel vehicles in an effort to reach a settlement with US regulators, as separate academic studies provided mounting evidence that the carmaker had installed software meant to evade emissions standards.

In January, the EPA alleged that Fiat Chrysler had violated the Clean Air Act by failing to disclose auxiliary emissions control devices in the two aforementioned models. Fiat said in its statement it "believes that these actions should help facilitate a prompt resolution" with the Justice Department. On Wednesday, the European Union's executive arm filed a formal complaint against the Italian government for allowing Fiat Chrysler to sell cars created to evade emissions tests. At the same time, the automaker has filed an application for diesel emissions certification of the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2017 Ram 1500. The company agreed to pay $4.3 billion in a criminal settlement and more than $17 billion in civil settlements after US regulators uncovered so-called defeat devices, which change how a vehicle performs during or outside of testing, on VW diesels in 2015. A diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee produced up to five times as much. The 2017s feature updated emissions software, as well.

The emission-cheating scheme has cost Volkswagen more than $20 billion in fines and settlements, in addition to goodwill among some USA drivers.

Researchers from the University of the Ruhr in Bochum, Germany, and at the University of California, San Diego, said this week they found evidence of a defeat device in a diesel Fiat 500X, a compact SUV sold in Europe.

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