Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Friday it has received certification from the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board that allows the company to produce and sell 2017 model-year Ram 1500 pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs with 3-liter diesel engines.
The automaker said the updates for the 2017 model year include modified emissions software calibrations but no hardware changes. The company said it doesn’t expect the modified calibrations to have any impact on fuel economy or performance.
The certification comes after months of work between the agencies and the automaker to address regulator concerns about diesel emissions control technologies used on earlier versions of diesel Ram pickup and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
“The approvals announced today represent a significant step toward resolving the issues raised by EPA and ARB,” FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “We appreciate the efforts of the agencies in working with us to achieve this milestone. We are anxious to build on this progress to make appropriate updates to the emissions control software in our earlier model-year vehicles.”
FCA said it will continue to work with EPA and CARB and “seek their permission” to use a version of the modified software to update emission control systems in 2014-16 diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram pickups. The company believes the software will address EPA and CARB concerns about emissions on those vehicles.
Earlier this year, the Justice Department filed a civil complaint against FCA over allegations of emissions cheating on more than 100,000 diesel Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees. The company had hoped to avoid a lawsuit by offering modifications on the sold diesel versions.
On Thursday, Marchionne in a call with analysts and investors, said he was confident that the company will find a resolution with the government. “I’m relatively comfortable that we can get the U.S. position rectified in relatively short order,” he said.