EPA, Justice Department target Fiat Chrysler for alleged circumventing of Clean Air Act

By Mark Iandolo | May 31, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced May 23 the filing of a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America Inc. (collectively, “FCA”).

According to allegations, the defendants equipped close to 104,000 light duty diesel vehicles containing 3.0 liter EcoDiesel engines with defeat devices and software functions never disclosed to regulators. The EPA and the DOJ says these functions and defeat devices allow the vehicles’ emission control systems to perform less effectively during certain normal driving conditions than on federal emission tests. According to the allegations, this circumventing leads to the increased emissions of harmful air pollutants.

Purported conduct of this nature violates the Clean Air Act, as well as California environmental laws. Affected vehicles include roughly 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (model years 2014-2016) sold in the United States.

EPA and the DOJ seek injunctive relief and civil penalties.The  EPA and the California Air Resources Board are currently in discussions with FCA, seeking to bring the affected vehicles into proper Clean Air Act and California law compliance.

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