The researchers who first uncovered the VW Dieselgate scandal are now alleging that Fiat-Chrysler diesels may be polluting too much as well. Testing by this private group of researchers asserts that diesel engines from the automaker may be allowing more than twenty times the legal limit of pollutants into the air.
This information comes shortly after the US Justice Department alleged that Fiat-Chrysler had been using “defeat devices” in their vehicles. However, the testing group in question, The West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, did not actually accuse FCA of using a defeat device. They were only able to get so far as to show that the vehicles in question were polluting well over the legal limits when tested on the road, rather than on a dynamometer.
The tests, which were done with Ram 1500 EcoDiesels and Jeep Grand Cherokee Diesels from 2014 and 2015 (valid for model years 2014-2016), showed nitrogen oxide levels at three to 20 times the limit set by U.S. clean-air rules. Daniel Carder, director of the center said, “We saw emissions results in simulated on-road cycles on chassis dynamometers that were much lower than the actual on-road results were, suggesting that the vehicle was controlled in different fashions,”
FCA has had the chance to respond, asking for more information about how the test was conducted. FCA doesn’t know who exactly conducted the test, but said that, “this testing appears to have been commissioned by a plaintiffs’ law firm for purposes of litigation.”. However, Carder declined to comment on who commissioned the tests.
FCA brought up the fact that U.S. pollution standards for emissions are based on laboratory testing, implying that an on-road test would produce results that should be rendered “invalid”. However, Carder had yet another retort to this comment saying that FCA’s vehicles produced results that were not comparable to cars which did pollute within the limits.
The US’s civil lawsuit against FCA says that any undisclosed software is illegal and that parts of the automaker’s emissions control systems were designed to work around emissions tests. FCA Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne denied any intent to cheat on emissions, and furthermore that the company intends to defend itself “particularly against any claims that the company engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests.”
Be sure to stay tuned to TFLtruck.com for more news regarding the development of this civil lawsuit by the US Justice Department. We actually had the opportunity to emissions test the Ram 1500, here are our results: