Sergio Marchionne has rejected accusations of emissions cheating in the United States a day after officials reached a settlement with Volkswagen.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Fiat Chrysler used illegal software.
Fiat Chrysler Chairman Sergio Marchionne said his company has done nothing illegal and that it was not involved in diesel emissions testing fraud.
Marchionne said US government accusations of cheating against the Italian-American automaker had been “blown out of proportion.”
He said it would be “sheer speculation” to predict how the incoming Trump administration would handle the matter.
Fiat Chrysler shares plummeted more than 16 percent in European trading after the EPA issued a notice of violation for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. It said the company had secretly installed software in diesel engines in 2014 to 2016 model year vehicles to circumvent emissions testing.
The charges cover about 104,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 trucks, all with 3-liter diesel engines. The EPA said it was working in coordination with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which also took similar action.
“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,” said Cynthia Giles, EPA assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance.
Cheating software works by detecting when a vehicle is undergoing laboratory testing. It puts the engine into a low-emissions state that produces unrealistically low pollution levels compared to those emitted during normal driving.
The accusation comes one day after German carmaker Volkswagen admitted guilt and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and civil settlements to the US government over a similar scheme.
About Article Author