If FCA chief Sergio Marchionne's recent statements are anything to go by, the Italian-American automaker isn't far from reaching an agreement on just how it will address the EPA's emissions concerns that affect 140,000 turbodiesel Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickup trucks.
A refresher: a couple of weeks ago, the EPA announced that it was seeking an explanation from FCA about why it found eight emissions control devices that the automaker hadn't disclosed previously. The EPA stopped short of suggesting that the auxiliary emissions control devices (AECDs) could be defeat devices like those used by Volkswagen in its turbodiesels, but the implication was hard to ignore.
Now, Marchionne has told reporters that FCA and the EPA are working to rectify the issue "in an efficient way." Neither party has said that the software modes were written to help the vehicles perform better during EPA testing than in real world use, however.
Both the EPA and FCA are said to be working together on a fix. There's no word yet on how this could affect the Justice Department's investigation into FCA, which is expected to center around any electronic communication relating to FCA employees and the AECDs.
Marchionne has indicated that the fix may be as simple as an ECU reflash to either update or remove the eight AECDs. That's the kind of thing that's regularly performed by dealers, but typically to improve engine performance.
The issue affects 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 vehicles equipped with the automaker's 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 engine. The engine has not yet been certified for 2017.