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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fiat-Chrysler notified of violations of federal and California air quality regulations

Fiat-Chrysler notified of violations of federal and California
air quality regulations



Expanded testing program, developed during VW case, finds
undeclared emission control device



SACRAMENTO — The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has issued
a Notice of Violation to FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
N.V., and Chrysler Group LLC (collectively FCA) after detecting
the presence of a number of auxiliary emissions control devices
(AECDs) in 3.0 liter diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram pickup
trucks from model years 2014-2016. FCA failed to disclose these
devices, which in some cases significantly increase emissions of
nitrogen oxide (NOx) when activated.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency) has issued a similar NOV to FCA covering about
104,000 cars and pickups nationally. There are about 14,000 of
these vehicles on the road in California.

On September 25, 2015 CARB notified major automakers that diesel
vehicles would face expanded emissions testing as part of ARB’s
In-Use Compliance Program, which includes modified test
procedures in the lab, and testing of emissions while the car is
being driven on the road in addition to certification test
cycles. This enhanced testing program was developed during the
Volkswagen investigation and is now being used routinely by CARB
for vehicle certification and in-use compliance testing. The
current violations were discovered as a result of the enhanced
testing procedures.

“Once again, a major automaker has failed to meet their legal
obligations for vehicle certification and gotten caught,” said
CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment
to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is
a result of that collaboration.”

FCA’s actions have created substantial excess, illegal, and
on-going emissions and harm that have impacted, and continue to
impact, public health and the environment in California.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) is particularly harmful in California. NOx
emissions contribute to the formation of ozone, and can worsen
symptoms of asthma and cardio-pulmonary disease. About 10 million
Californians live in what U.S. EPA considers severe
non-attainment areas for ozone,

The presence of an AECD is not necessarily a regulatory
violation. An AECD is an element of design (for example,
software, strategy, algorithm, hardware, etc.) which in some way
alters the performance of the vehicle emissions control system.
An AECD is sometimes allowed in situations where running the full
emissions control system under extreme conditions could damage
the engine.

It is, however, a violation of California and federal regulations
for an automaker to include any AECD in a vehicle without
notifying the agencies responsible for  certification. None of
the AECDs in this case were disclosed, and many do not operate
during certification testing – only when the car is taken off the
required testing procedures in the laboratory. To date none has
been finally determined to be a “defeat device” as was the case
with VW, but the investigation is still underway.

Of particular concern are AECDs found in these vehicles which
reduce or turn off  exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) or reduce the
effectiveness of selective catalyst reduction (SCR) system.  Both
EGR and SCR control the emissions of NOx from the engine.

Today’s NOV includes 11 violations of California’s Health &
Safety Code:


1. Invalid certification applications

2. Importation, delivery, purchase, acquisition, or receipt of
uncertified vehicles

3. Intentional or negligent importation, delivery, purchase,
receipt or acquisition of uncertified vehicles

4. Intentional or negligent sales or offers to sell uncertified
vehicles

5. Sale of vehicles that do not meet emission standards

6. Failure to comply with the emission standards or test
procedures – Durability Data Vehicle

7. Failure to comply with the emission standards or test
procedures – Emissions Data Vehicle (EDV)

8. Failure to comply with onboard diagnostic (OBD) system
requirements

9. Invalid Vehicle Emission Control Information Label (compliance
statement)

10. Invalid smog rating on the Smog Index Label

11. Violation of emission warranty provisions


The next step in the NOV process will be for FCA to justify the
use of the AECDs in the affected vehicles. If the company cannot
do that, additional violations may result.


The CARB cover letter on these violations are here:
https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/fca/fca_cover_letter.pdf


The CARB Notice of Violation is here:
https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/fca/fca_arb_nov.pdf


An FAQ on this case is here:
https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/fca/fca_faq.htm


U.S. EPA documents are here: https://www.epa.gov/fca

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