"The complaint alleges that FCA equipped almost 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with at least eight software-based features that were not disclosed in FCA's applications for certificates of conformity and that affect the vehicles' emission control systems", the EPA said in a press release.
"The company intends to defend itself vigorously, particularly against any claims that the (Fiat Chrysler) engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat USA emissions tests", the company said in a statement posted to its website.
When cars with a defeat device installed are not being tested, they emit pollution that is "much higher than the EPA-compliant level", the agency said.
While some parallels exist between the Volkswagen diesel scandal and alleged wrongdoing by Fiat Chrysler, Volkwagen ultimately admitted to cheating on emissions tests, while Fiat Chrysler maintains its software routines were legal and abide by all current regulations. This device is created to defeat the diesel emissions tests that are required by many states while not actually meeting the standards of these tests.
According to the complaint, Fiat Chrysler failed to reveal the existence of at least eight auxiliary emissions control devices that, when used separately or together, had the effect of "bypassing, defeating, or rendering inoperative" the vehicles' pollution control systems. California said in a statement it "is continuing its discussions with FCA to fully address and resolve the issues" it raised.
Since then, other countries, including the United Kingdom and France, have also said they were investigating the company.
Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne.
It isn't into Volkswagen territory yet, even though the Department of Justice has accused it of using defeat devices. There are defeat devices that are created to defeat the test cycle.
That ultimately snowballed into a global scandal that has cost VW Group more than $20 billion and ended the development of new diesel vehicles from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche for the US market. So it made a decision to cheat - and deliberately designed a software tool to do just that. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC set a $11.00 target price on shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, January 12th. It was not, it says, involved in any "deliberate scheme".