Late last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) of installing cheating software on their trucks and cars to fix the auto emissions tests, which the company denies. Sergio Marchionne, the chief executive, rejected the claims angrily, saying that Fiat Chrysler was not using software or cheating the emissions tests in any way.
This did not deter the US and even the UK.
In fact, Britain disclosed on Monday they will carry out tests of the Jeep Grand Cherokee to make sure that the US incidents are not being repeated in the UK. This will surely be a further blow to the automaker as they are already facing a steep penalty if the US incident is proved to be correct.
The Department for Transport has asked for detailed reports already from the United States to understand how this was being done. A spokesman said, “We have instructed our Market Surveillance Unit to undertake testing on one of these vehicles at the earliest opportunity”. According to data with the transport ministry, more than 3700 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles are registered in Britain at this time.
Trouble in the US for Fiat Chrysler
Earlier in the United States, the EPA issued a “notice of violation” to the automaker that covers about 104,000 vehicles. This happened just a day after Volkswagen agreed to pay a fine of $4.3 billion to settle the diesel emissions scandal.
Fiat Chrysler rejected these claims saying the emission control systems meet the applicable regulations. “Software in the diesel engines is an allowable way to meet emissions rules, according to the automaker. Fiat Chrysler is not cheating the emissions tests but actually wants to improve performances of the engines”. EPA disagreed, pointing out that Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) did not disclose this software to the agency before, and are thus violating the Clean Air Act, even if there was no intention to cheat the emissions tests.
France Is Investigating Renault Cars As Well
Meanwhile, in France, prosecutors are investigating whether Renault cars were fitted with similar cheating software like the one used by Volkswagen (ETR:VOW3) after spot checks revealed that Renault cars were pumping out much more polluting nitrogen oxide than the allowable limit.
This could have a serious repercussion in the UK as thousands drive these vehicles. Plus, the diesel engines made by Renault are used in other cars too, like for instance, Nissan.