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William Maley

Fiat News: Researchers Say EcoDiesel Models Spew More Pollution Than Legally Allowed

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The university that first uncovered excess emissions coming out of Volkswagen's diesel models has turned their attention to Fiat Chrysler Automobile's 3.0L EcoDiesel V6. Their results show that models equipped with this engine spew as much as 20 times the legal limit for emissions.

Bloomberg reports the West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions tested five Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s from the 2014 and 2015 model years in the lab and out on the road. Why 2014 and 2015 model year vehicles? According to the Wall Street Journal, this is due to another emission issue dealing with 2014 models having their catalytic converter replaced. The university found that in real-world driving, the models emitted between 3 to 20 times the legal limit for Nitrogen oxide (NOx).

“We saw emissions results in simulated on-road cycles on chassis dynamometers that were much lower than the actual on-road results were, suggesting that the vehicle was controlled in different fashions,” said Daniel Carder, director of the center to Bloomberg.

FCA has called the university’s findings into question. In a statement released yesterday, the company has reached out to the university to get more information on how the tests were done. FCA says the comparison between the on-road tests done by the university and EPA lab tests are invalid. The researchers drove some of the vehicles at a higher speed than in the lab and that there was more weight in the vehicle than what is required by regulators.

There is also an interesting tidbit from FCA's statement.

"Based upon court filings and discussions with CAFEE, this testing appears to have been commissioned by a plaintiffs’ law firm for purposes of litigation."

When asked by Bloomberg on who commissioned the research, Carder declined.

Source: Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Press Release is on Page 2


June 13, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US has recently been made aware of on-road emissions testing conducted on two of the Company’s diesel-powered vehicles by West Virginia University’s Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions (CAFEE). Based upon court filings and discussions with CAFEE, this testing appears to have been commissioned by a plaintiffs’ law firm for purposes of litigation. 
                                                                                                       
FCA US has asked CAFEE to discuss its testing methodology and share the resulting data for the Company’s understanding, and to determine which on-road test results could conceivably be compared with results from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laboratory procedures.  CAFEE has been unwilling to discuss the report.
 
The CAFEE report implies it would be appropriate to compare its on-road test results with those of one of five required EPA test procedures – each of which is conducted off-road, under laboratory conditions.  However, CAFEE’s reported on-road results fail to consider that its tests were conducted:

  • at average speeds more than 50% greater than those in the EPA test procedure
  • with 600-700 lbs. more payload than is used in the EPA test procedure
  • under road conditions (e.g., grades) that are not representative of those in the EPA test procedure

Each of the above may increase emissions readings, therefore rendering invalid a comparison of on-road and off-road test results. Further, the aggregation of these variations makes any comparison misleading.

Despite the report, there is no regulatory protocol for conducting on-road emissions testing.  The report also indicates that the vehicles were modified by CAFEE prior to testing ostensibly in an effort to replicate a prior recall.
 
FCA US has formally filed an application for diesel vehicle emissions certification with the EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for its 2017 model year (MY) Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles, the latest model year of the same vehicles apparently tested by CAFEE.  FCA US has updated the emissions software calibrations in this MY 2017 certification proposal.
 
The updated calibrations are the result of many months of close collaboration between FCA US and EPA and CARB, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the Company’s emissions control technology.  FCA US continues to discuss improved software calibrations with the agencies.  Subject to the permission of EPA and CARB, FCA US intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles. FCA US believes this will address the agencies’ concerns regarding the emissions software calibrations in those vehicles.


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Interesting, I do think the law firms are now chasing every possible options for a lawsuit of diesel emission failure.

No matter what, I think FCA is in trouble as I do wonder about their diesel claims.

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50 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Interesting, I do think the law firms are now chasing every possible options for a lawsuit of diesel emission failure.

No matter what, I think FCA is in trouble as I do wonder about their diesel claims.

The history of this engine is interesting.  It is a slightly enlarged variant of the 2.9 liter diesel that was planned for the 2008+ CTS before GM went into BK and now it is used in Rams, Jeeps, and Maseratis. 

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5 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The history of this engine is interesting.  It is a slightly enlarged variant of the 2.9 liter diesel that was planned for the 2008+ CTS before GM went into BK and now it is used in Rams, Jeeps, and Maseratis. 

That is interesting history. So a CTS Diesel it could have been before BK stuck. Glad it struck as GM is way better now than it was if they just continued to try and creep along.

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Get ready for pics of Crushed Ram trucks posted over at Allpar...this will not end well.

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Well wait a minute (re-reading the article)  if the models in question weren't tested via EPA standards, then some variation of the emissions is to be expected.  You can't change the conditions of the test (as the researchers did) and expect the same outcome.  This is an extreme example, but if I drove my Encore around in 2nd gear all day, my emissions would be higher than legal also... and that's what it sounds like the researchers allegedly did (drove faster than EPA testing procedure, drove with more weight than EPA testing procedure, thus more load on the engine)

If what FCA alleges the researchers did is true, then this is just a witch hunt. 

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Well wait a minute (re-reading the article)  if the models in question weren't tested via EPA standards, then some variation of the emissions is to be expected.  You can't change the conditions of the test (as the researchers did) and expect the same outcome.  This is an extreme example, but if I drove my Encore around in 2nd gear all day, my emissions would be higher than legal also... and that's what it sounds like the researchers allegedly did (drove faster than EPA testing procedure, drove with more weight than EPA testing procedure, thus more load on the engine)

If what FCA alleges the researchers did is true, then this is just a witch hunt. 

True and the reason that the facts of the FCA test and the University test need to be made clear. 

From a College test stand point, you SHOULD reproduce the exact test done and then go higher and lower in the test range to see just how much things change and how the EPA expects it to change.

Either way you look at this, it is not positive for Diesel and will end up pushing us towards the EV world.

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They'll get fined, have to pay out in lawsuits, have to fix these vehicles, etc.  Same old story.  These diesels are costing car makers so much, I can't imagine any of them move forward with them.  They'll be coming for the Cruze and Colorado next.  Diesel will be out of the market in 5 years.

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5 hours ago, balthazar said:

^ Perfect, because everybody knows we'll all be in autonomous EV vehicles in 4 years, so the timing is excellent! ;)

And living like the Jetsons in five.  I just want my robotic maid to have realistic lady bits and we are all set.

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In all seriousness, I think this has political implications, but I do not want to take this down a politics rabbit hole. If Germany thinks FCA is getting treated with special provisos for their cheating, this may not be a happy thing in terms of relations with MS Merkel.

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3 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

And living like the Jetsons in five.  I just want my robotic maid to have realistic lady bits and we are all set.

So realistic lady bits, does that mean the ass is on the front side? ;)  :P 

1 hour ago, A Horse With No Name said:

In all seriousness, I think this has political implications, but I do not want to take this down a politics rabbit hole. If Germany thinks FCA is getting treated with special provisos for their cheating, this may not be a happy thing in terms of relations with MS Merkel.

Agreed, keeping the politics out of this from a personal stand point. The fact is that the investigation by various governments will cause them to look at everyone. Everyone will be looked at and if done properly, be subjected to the same reviews and if laws are broken, then fined and forced to change.

Over all, we are seeing more and more auto companies give up their diesel auto's, the future will be ICE Gas, Hybrids and the start of a complete move to EV's.

Regardless of the idiots in DC, no matter what Potus and his administration think they will do, the companies are global now and will have to think globally in regards to building products. No more can they afford multiple standards.

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Guest NorthStar

Yet, through all of this diesel vehicle sales are increasing. 

In Canada they released fixed TDI cars and they are all sold. The 2015 Touregs have not been released but dealers require a 5k deposit and pay MSRP once released for a 3 model year old vehicle. 

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28 minutes ago, Guest NorthStar said:

Yet, through all of this diesel vehicle sales are increasing. 

In Canada they released fixed TDI cars and they are all sold. The 2015 Touregs have not been released but dealers require a 5k deposit and pay MSRP once released for a 3 model year old vehicle. 

pass, not worth the money.

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39 minutes ago, dfelt said:

pass, not worth the money.

And anyone who pays that for a three year old VW needs their head examined. 

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1 hour ago, Guest NorthStar said:

Yet, through all of this diesel vehicle sales are increasing. 

In Canada they released fixed TDI cars and they are all sold. The 2015 Touregs have not been released but dealers require a 5k deposit and pay MSRP once released for a 3 model year old vehicle. 

People are quite excited to own them here in the USA also.

50 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

And anyone who pays that for a three year old VW needs their head examined. 

Agreed, but they are selling like crazy.

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12 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

People are quite excited to own them here in the USA also.

Agreed, but they are selling like crazy.

Well as Barnum said...

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13 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Well as Barnum said...

It does feel like our species is getting dumber every year...or maybe I am just getting old and cynical.

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