CEO Sergio Marchionne claims the company is involved in "pretty intense discussions" with the EPA and CARB, potentially resolving the dispute by simply re-flashing the ECU.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has reported progress in its discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board over certification for diesel vehicles that allegedly violate the Clean Air Act.
The EPA earlier this month announced a notice of violation for the EcoDiesel-powered Dodge Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The notice claimed FCA implemented a list of emissions-control software provisions, known as auxiliary emissions control devices (AECDs), that were not properly disclosed in certification filings.
"The EPA has determined that, unless FCA can establish that the undisclosed AECDs qualify for one of the narrow exclusions provided under the applicable regulations, one or more of the AECDs ... would constitute defeat devices that reduce the effectiveness of the vehicles' emission control system," the agency wrote at the time.
Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, FCA chief Sergio Marchionne suggested the company is "in the midst of a series of pretty intense discussions with both EPA and CARB on the certification of the 2017 models" including the Ram 1500 and Grand Cherokee.
The executive suggests the discussions center around a proposal to simply re-flash the ECU, presumably removing or modifying some or all of the AECDs that are at the heart of the EPA's complaint.
"I think discussions are proceeding well, and I think they are a confirmation of the, certainly the goodwill that's been established with the regulatory agencies now for a number of years, and it's something I expect that will continue," he added.
If the EPA does certify the 2017-model-year vehicles, FCA could still face enforcement action for years of violations. The US Department of Justice is reportedly pursuing its own concurrent investigation, suggesting federal prosecutors are attempting to determine if the accusations warrant criminal charges.
FCA has insisted that its software does not employ the type of 'defeat device' that got Volkswagen into trouble.