Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines of the Geneva Motor Show that the company is working to resolve its U.S. diesel emissions issues, according to Automotive News. The company is allegedly focusing on gaining clearance to sell its 2017 model year diesel engines first and foremost.
In January the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation to FCA regarding the company’s 3.0-liter diesel V-6. The agency alleged that FCA was violating the Clean Air Act by having coding in its software the appeared to reduce the engine emissions control system during various conditions. Under law, such software, known as AECD’s are a violation. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) also filed violations against FCA.
“We have been dealing with the EPA and CARB, we have engaged legal counsel. The only thing I can tell you is that we continue to work with the agencies to try and resolve this,” stated Marchionne.
“We continue to offer full cooperation to the agency to try get this issue resolved. I think my main objective now is to get certification for the 2017 models,” he added.
Part of the CAA law requires automakers to obtain a certificate of conformity – essentially an approval of the vehicle’s emissions system, before it can be sold on the U.S. market. As of right now the 2017 Ram EcoDiesel and Jeep Grand Cherokee equipped with the 3.0-liter engine have not been granted a certificate of conformity. FCA appears to think the agency will ultimately grant approve to the 2017 models, which allegedly have different software than previous model years.
Marchionne went on to say that FCA feels if the 2017 models can be approved, the company can ultimately trickle-down the software change to the 2014-16 models that are the subject of the notice of violation.
There are other remaining questions as well in the matter. FCA is facing multiple civil lawsuits over the diesel emissions issue. A judicial panel will hold a hearing on March 30 to decide if the civil suits should be consolidated into one piece of litigation.
Subsequently FCA disclosed last week that the U.S. Securities And Exchange Commission and some state attorneys general are probing the company regarding it’s diesel issues. Reports also surfaced that the U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating the matter for several months.