After issuing a "notice of violation" accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of installing engine software that allowed excess nitrogen oxide emissions in diesel versions of two of its popular vehicles, the EPA, California Air Resources Board and FCA are in discussions to resolve the matter.
According to the Detroit Free Press, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is optimistic about quickly resolving the issue. Marchionne has asserted that FCA did nothing intentional to prevent the turbo-diesel 3.0-liter V-6 offered in the Ram 1500 pickup truck and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV from performing as required by law. The Free Press also reported that FCA said a possible fix could involve re-flashing the computer software, allowing for EPA certification of the 2017 models. Marchionne also said that the same software fix could be used to update the older models.
Resolving the issue in the next few weeks could pave the way for the current backlog of Ram 1500 EcoDiesels — many of which are sitting in dealerships — to get the software upgrade. Although Ram does not report the type of engines in its pickups in its monthly sales report, sources have told us that more than 10 percent of all Ram half-ton sales are equipped with the torquey turbo-diesel. If FCA does not get this resolved quickly, Ram could lose out on quite a few half-ton Ram sales in February.