EPA Accuses Fiat Chrysler of Cheating U.S. Emissions Tests

An image show a panoramic view of the Fiat Chrysler head quarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accused Fiat Chrysler using software to allow an estimated 104,000 diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. The company’s shares dropped over 13% once the accusations were made public. Fiat Chrysler claims that its vehicle’s software systems are legal. The accusations come on the heels of the FBI’s arrest of a Volkswagen executive for conspiracy to cheat on U.S. emissions tests.

According to the EPA’s press release, Fiat Chrysler stands accused of violating the Clean Air Act by failing to disclose engine management software in pick-up trucks and SUVs with diesel engines sold in the United States.

“Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in the agency’s statement. “We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices.”

Fiat Chrysler rebukes the accusation, defending its systems as legal. The car manufacturer expressed its disappointment on Thursday that the EPA issued a notice of violation. The company insists that its engines are “equipped with state-of-the-art emission control systems hardware.”

The company’s response went on to say that it “intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably.”

Fiat Chrysler shares fell to a low of 18 percent, the biggest intraday drop since the company’s shares were first traded in 2014. As of 11:53 a.m. EST today, the company’s shares have dropped over 12%.

The Fiat Chrysler accusations come one day after Volkswagen announced that it would pay $4.3 billion in a settlement with U.S. authorities over their own emissions cheating issues. The company plead guilty to diesel emissions-cheating dating back to September 2015.

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