Fiat Chrysler Diesels Earn EPA and CARB Certification

Sales of 2017 Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees with the 3.0-liter diesel engine may now resume.

YouTube

After being notified of emissions problems with its 3.0-liter diesel engines earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler announced Friday that it had received approval from the EPA and CARB to resume production and sales of new Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokees after implementing changes to address these problems. 

"The 2017 updates include modified emissions software calibrations, with no required hardware changes," said FCA in a press release. "FCA US expects that the modified calibrations will have no effect on the stated fuel economy or the performance of these vehicles."

The new engine control software only addresses emissions concerns in new vehicles. The original issues with diesel Rams and Jeeps built between 2014 and 2016 remain, but FCA hopes to fix those trucks in a similar manner, again with no hardware changes. Still, being allowed to sell diesel trucks with a clean bill of health is an important step forward for FCA, particularly as the world examines diesel emissions from all vehicle quite closely in the aftermath of Volkswagen's "Dieselgate" scandal. Other manufacturers, including FCA, were accused of allegedly using defeat devices to pass government testing while allowing excessive pollutants under normal driving conditions. FCA denied these allegations when the EPA and CARB notified them of violations in January, yet appears to have made changes that satisfy both government authorities.

FCA has not yet announced when diesel Rams and Jeeps will once again be available for sale. However, Ram began building diesel 1500s in early July, weeks before the approval came through. Since the approved fix is only software, these trucks should be ready to go after a simple software upgrade if they aren't equipped with the revised software already. Ram's gamble to resume production before the fix was approved appears to have paid off, providing them a stockpile of trucks available to ship to dealers immediately.