After seemingly endless delays, FCA have been given clearance to sell diesel motors again. The 3.0-litre diesel V6 engines feature in 2017 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee and offer high torque motors to the mix. After some regulatory wrangling in the U.S., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have been cleared to sell them once more.
Production on the engine stopped when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board (CARB) accused FCA of breaking emissions regulations. In May this year, the U.S. Justice Department took FCA to court accusing it of failing to disclose engine management software on the vehicles.
FCA has been working with regulators in the U.S. to sort out the issue and a solution has been met. New software has been created that brings affected vehicles within emissions regulations. Those changes have been approved and diesel engines with this new software can be sold once more.
"The approvals announced today represent a significant step toward resolving the issues raised by EPA and [CARB]," Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler's CEO, 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."
According to FCA, all that is needed is a tweak to the software to make the vehicles compliant. The changes require no hardware upgrades or mechanical updates. Neither will it affect gas mileage.
FCA is one of many automakers who are facing some kind of action over emissions or engine management software. Various high profile manufacturers are currently facing lawsuits or other actions in other parts of the world for allegedly using software to circumvent emissions regulations.
Ahead of the curve
FCA had actually resumed production before the agreement was reached. They were so confident that the software changes would mollify regulators that they began making those diesel engines back in July. This allows FCA to get ahead of the curve and satisfy demands for the 2017 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.0-litre diesel V6.
Given the power figures and gas mileage potential of the diesel, it will prove popular with buyers. While we have still yet to fall in love with diesel as a fuel, the advantages in trucks is substantial. Lots more torque available at much lower revs and high hauling or tower capacities are just two advantages.