FCA Boss Disputes Diesel Emissions Notification From EPA

The head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is defending his firm's actions in the face of a compliance notice on 2 diesel powered vehicles.

The US Environmental Protection Agency issued the notice this morning indicating it does not believe the 3-litre diesel Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 from 2014 to 2016 are in compliance.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne characterizes it as a dispute over the calibration of the emissions systems on those engines.

Marchionne says this is entirely different from the Volkswagen situation, which is acknowledged to have been deliberate.

He says there is nothing in the current calibration which distinguishes between a test cycle and normal driving, it's a huge difference because there was never any intent on the part of FCA of creating conditions to defeat the testing process.

Marchionne says comparing the Volkswagen situation to the one with his firm is dead wrong: "anybody who draws a parallel between us and V-W on this basis is smoking illegal material.  We are having a difference of opinion as to whether the calibration met the regs or did not meet the regs"

He says FCA has been communicating with the EPA to sort this out with the objective of getting this resolved.

Marchionne hinted during a teleconference that the EPA notice could have a political motivation, coming in the final week of the current Obama administration.

He does agree this dispute combined with the Volkswagen situation will have a negative impact on the image of diesel engines in North America.