Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is being sued by the US Department of Justice over allegations of emissions fraud. This civil suit covers the undeclared amounts of 'defeat devices' installed on diesel-powered offerings from the company.
Besides FCA, engine manufacturer VM Motori was also named in the lawsuit. VM Motori designed several diesel engines for the Italian-American company, namely the 3.0-liter V6 engine used in various models. The engine manufacturer is currently being investigated. According to the report, the US DoJ, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, was able to obtain internal documents that raised issues regarding emissions testing. The documents, written in Italian, are under scrutiny by officials.
The investigators believe that FCA used as much as eight defeat devices on the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel models. If proven, this means that FCA had violated the Clean Air Act. Reuters also mentioned that approximately 104,000 cars equipped with the EcoDiesel V6 have been fitted with the said device. The models affected were built between 2014 to 2016. FCA has denied any wrongdoing and expressed 'disappointment' at the US DoJ for filing the suit.
Last year, FCA also came under fire from German authorities after the country's transport ministry said that they found emission tampering gadgets in select Fiat models. The Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), Germany's transport ministry, asked Fiat to appear before the ministry, but the Italian automaker refused to do so.
According to the Italian Transport Ministry, the cars showed full compliance with emissions procedures and the test was done while driving, without any misleading procedures. "There were no illegal devices found on diesel models by other carmakers except for those Volkswagen models already identified," said Graziano Delrio, Transport Minister of Italy.