Green Cars

Fiat Chrysler fights back over on-road test results

FCA claims private lab's on-road tests not representative of EPA tests

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is hitting back at a purported report of on-road emissions testing of a couple of its diesel models by West Virginia University.

After obtaining court filings and communicating with WVU’s Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions (CAFEE), FCA believes the testing by CAFEE was commissioned by a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought against FCA over emissions discrepancies of its Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and Ram 1500 pickup.

The company reportedly asked CAFEE to share its testing methodology and the resulting data, but was reportedly refused, saying only that its testing was comparable to five required Environment Protection Agency (EPA) laboratory tests. FCA alleges that CAFEE conducted its tests at speeds more than 50% in excess of EPA lab tests, with payloads exceeding the EPA testing by 272-317 kg, and on roads that are not representative of EPA virtual evaluations.

FCA claims each of those will have a direct and negative impact on emissions output, and all of them combined will have a marked change to the worse. And as such, the company considers the results invalid and misleading. But it further alleges that the vehicles tested were modified to try to replicate a prior FCA recall.

FCA had recently updated its software for its Grand Cherokee and Ram diesels for 2017 (allegedly the vehicles tested by CAFEE) and late last month applied for certification from EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the latest model year vehicles, as well as permission to install the updated software and systems in the 2014-16 model year Jeeps and Rams that had been the subject of investigation into false emissions readings.

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