You may already know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed allegations against Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) for failing to disclose engine management software that can cause excessive NOx emissions in real-world driving. EPA says that the software in the 2014-2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesels may cause those vehicles to emit levels of Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) that are greater than legal limits. FCA says that it did no wrongdoing, and that its vehicles comply with emissions standards.
Ram and Jeep are cooperating with the continuing investigation. FCA has disclosed the software for the EPA to review. Sale of 2017 model-year Ram 1500 EcoDiesel has been halted, pending the EPA emissions certification. Current owners of EcoDiesel vehicles are not asked to take any special action and may continue to use their diesels.
Does the 2016 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pass an emissions test? We took it to a local Colorado testing facility to find. The truck passed the test with flying colors, but Colorado does not test for NOx emissions on consumer diesel vehicles. The state only tests for diesel particulate emissions. Any turbo-diesel vehicle is allowed to emit up to 35% opacity, meaning up to 35% of the emitted exhaust is “black smoke” or soot. The 2016 Ram EcoDiesel registered 0% opacity at various speeds and under load, meaning it does not emit any black smoke. Colorado considers this particular truck extremely clean, as far as harmful particulate emissions are concerned.
Confused yet? We published this video to explain the situation.