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FCA EcoDiesel Scandal Ends With Guilty Plea, Fines Total $300 Million

As reported by none other than yours truly in October 2021, the FCA EcoDiesel saga has ended with a guilty plea. Financial penalties total $300 million, split between $96,145,784 for the criminal fine and forfeits worth $203,572,892 in gains related to EcoDiesel V6-engined SUVs and trucks.
FCA EcoDiesel V6 10 photos
Ram 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel instrument clusterRam 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbo diesel engineRam 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbo diesel engineJeep 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbo diesel engineJeep 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbo diesel engineRam HD 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engineRam HD 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engineRam HD 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engineRam HD 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel engine
The automaker is accused of conspiracy to defraud regulators and customers by making false and misleading representations about more than 100,000 vehicles equipped with the six-cylinder turbo diesel. The SUVs and trucks in question were manufactured for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 model years.

In other words, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cheated emissions and compliance with federal standards before Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal came to light. According to the company’s admissions, FCA US LLC developed a 3.0-liter turbo diesel for use in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 as early as 2010. The automaker designed a specific marketing campaign for this engine around the “clean EcoDiesel” catchline, which is as insulting as it gets following the verdict described earlier in the intro.

Beyond the fraudulent software installed in these vehicles, Fiat Chrysler has avoided regulatory scrutiny while maintaining the “clean EcoDiesel” catchline to attract customers. The software in question calibrates the powerplant’s emissions control systems to produce fewer nitrous oxides during the federal test procedure, which is the mirror image of Volkswagen’s so-called defeat device. Under normal driving conditions, the V6 engine produces way more nitrous oxides than the regulations allow.

Three FCA employees await trial, indicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Clean Air Act (CAA). They face six counts of violating the Clean Air Act, signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson.

At the moment of writing, Jeep and Ram continue selling the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 in the Wrangler and 1500 pickup truck, exclusively connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission marketed under the TorqueFlite moniker. The fuel-sipping V6 turbo diesel officially cranks out 260 horsepower and 442 or 480 pound-feet (600 or 650 Nm) of torque.

Editor's note: 6.7-liter Cummins also pictured in the gallery.

 Download attachment: FCA EcoDiesel V6 guilty plea (PDF)


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