Re­vea­led: FCA knew of die­sel che­at

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

Fi­at Chrys­ler Au­to­mo­bi­les (FCA) dis­cus­sed u­sing il­le­gal soft­wa­re to che­at e­mis­si­ons tes­ts in die­sel ver­si­ons of the Jeep Grand C­hero­kee and Ram E­coDie­sel pickup as e­ar­ly as 2010, re­cent­ly re­vea­led do­cu­ments show.

The e-mails we­re unse­a­led as part of a pro­po­sed class-acti­on laws­uit a­gainst FCA. They show the com­pa­ny was in­te­rested in u­sing soft­wa­re to de­tect e­mis­si­ons tes­ting on its die­sel vehi­cles to bring them in­to com­pli­an­ce on the test, ac­cor­ding to re­ports in

Bloom­berg and Au­to­mo­ti­ve News.

The laws­uit claims that Fi­at Chrys­ler mis­led buy­ers of tho­se die­sel mo­dels by tou­ting their fu­el e­co­nomy and per­for­man­ce w­hen they didn’t meet e­mis­si­ons stan­dards.

The 2010 e-mails from Ser­gio Pa­si­ni, the con­trols and ca­li­bra­ti­on di­rec­tor for a sup­plier of the V6 en­gi­nes for the Ram and Grand C­hero­kee E­coDie­sels, said that Fi­at Chrys­ler was in­te­rested in u­sing soft­wa­re that would de­tect test cy­cles so it could ad­ver­ti­se a 30mpg highway fu­el e­co­nomy ra­ting for the Grand C­hero­kee.

The soft­wa­re “is, no mat­ter w­hat Fi­at says, a cy­cle de­tecti­on,” Pa­si­ni wro­te.

In a re­spon­se Chrys­ler wro­te to Bloom­berg,

“We con­ti­nue to coope­ra­te with va­ri­ous go­vern­men­tal in­ves­ti­ga­ti­ons re­la­ted to die­sel e­mis­si­ons. E-mails such as tho­se re­fe­ren­ced ha­ve been pre­vi­ous­ly pro­vi­ded to the a­gen­cies. It is in­ap­pro­pri­a­te to draw con­clu­si­ons from i­so­la­ted com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons and in­ter­nal de­li­be­ra­ti­ons wit­hout mo­re de­tailed con­text that is part of the re­views FCA is con­ducting as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­ti­on pro­cess.”

In Ja­nu­a­ry, the US Jus­ti­ce De­part­ment offered the com­pa­ny sett­le­ment terms that would in­clu­de re­cal­ling all 2014 to 2016 mo­dels e­quip­ped with the E­coDie­sel V6 to up­da­te e­mis­si­ons soft­wa­re and bring them in­to com­pli­an­ce, as well as paying a “very sub­stan­ti­al fi­ne”. Fi­nes could a­mount to R54,7-bil­li­on.

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