We're 'fundamentally different' from Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler CEO says

The US Environmental Protection Agency said a software allowed Fiat Chrysler vehicles to emit more nitrogen oxides than permitted

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees are exhibited on a auto dealership in New Jersey, July 24, 2015. FCA also says it has proposed to develop extensive software changes to its emissions control strategies that could be implemented in the diesel vehicles immediately to further improve emissions performance. Right now, all that FCA is accused of is failing to disclose certain engine management software to the EPA, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. The EPA said it was investigating whether the software can be classified as a form of "defeat device", which would be illegal.

The allegations harken back to the Volkswagen emissions scandal that affected some 600,000 USA vehicles that were imported by the German automaker. In April, Daimler AG said the U.S. Justice Department had asked the carmaker to investigate its emissions certification process for vehicles including its Mercedes brand.

There are exemptions to the EPA's ban on emission control devices, including if the device is necessary to help protect the vehicle from damage or accident.

"Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught", California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols said in a statement. In VW's case, the "defeat device" detected when an emissions test was being administered, and lowered the engine's output in order to pass the test.

The EPA said it has notified FCA that it sold the software on more than 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickups. Fiat models in Europe were under investigation by German authorities previous year for potential violations of European Union emissions laws.

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In a statement, Fiat Chrysler said it "believes that its emission control systems meet the applicable requirements", adding that it "intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably". It said it found at least eight undisclosed pieces of emissions- related software during its investigation. The EPA says Fiat Chrysler failed to disclose that software.

The company also agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement Wednesday, putting an end to the USA government's investigations into the German automaker's diesel emissions cheating.

The company clarifies that its diesel engines are equipped with state-of-the-art emissions control systems hardware, including selective catalytic reduction (SCR).

"Chrysler's alleged misbehaviour - rigging its trucks, VW-like, to increase pollution of our lungs and lying about it - is appalling", Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, said in an e-mailed statement.

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