EPA accuses Chrysler of emissions cheating on Dodge, Jeep EcoDiesel models

by Jim Orr

Fiat Chrysler is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations of emissions cheating on Dodge and Jeep diesel models. News of the investigation following an announcement this week by the EPA that Chrysler had installed an emissions cheating device on 2014 – 2016 Dodge RAM 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models.

According to the EPA, the affected Dodge RAM and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models were equipped with software that enabled vehicles to evade U.S. pollution standards during emissions testing. The software made the vehicles appear to emit allowable levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) during testing, even though they released emissions levels that exceeded federal pollution laws while being operated under normal driving conditions.

EPA officials said that about 104,000 Dodge RAM 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models with a 3.0-liter diesel engines had been equipped with the emissions software. Although the EPA stopped short of calling the software a “defeat device” – the terminology used to refer to emissions cheating software installed by Volkswagen on its “TDI Clean Diesel” models during the Dieselgate scandal – the EPA said that it was prompted to examine Chrysler’s vehicles more closely in the wake of similar allegations against VW.

Legal commentators say that Chrysler may be facing penalties of up to $4.6 billion over EPA allegations that the company violated the Clean Air Act by installing emissions software on the company’s EcoDiesel models. Because Chrysler failed to disclose the existence of the emissions software to regulators, EPA officials say that the company may face additional charges in regard to the current emissions scandal.

Prosecutors are also investigating Chrysler’s connection to auto parts maker Robert Bosch GmbH. Chrysler used parts manufactured by Bosch in the EcoDiesel vehicles at the heart of the current EPA investigation. Bosch was also a parts supplier to Volkswagen for the VW and Audi diesel models involved in the Dieselgate scandal. Chrysler is also being investigated by the Justice Department over allegations that the automaker committed securities fraud by allegedly paying car dealers to report having sold more vehicles than they actually did.

In addition to the EPA investigation related to Chrysler’s EcoDiesel emissions cheating, the automaker also faces class action lawsuits filed on behalf of drivers who purchased or leased one of the affected Dodge RAM or Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models. The lawsuits allege that were charged excessive amounts for the environmentally friendly EcoDiesel technology in the affected vehicles even though it provided no benefits in regard to fuel efficiency or eco-friendliness.

Dodge, Jeep EcoDiesel Owners May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

Consumers who purchased or leased one of the 2014-2016 Dodge RAM 1500 EcoDiesel or Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel models involved in the EPA allegations against Chrysler may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who has the experience with automotive defects litigation to advise you regarding your legal rights and guide you through the first steps in filing a claims.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson represented VW and Audi owners who filed claims against Volkswagen in connection with the automaker’s emissions cheating in connection with the Dieselgate scandal. One of our partners, Michael Heygood, was chosen for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) against Volkswagen in California. Last year, Volkswagen agreed to create a $10 billion funding pool to settle claim by VW and Audi diesel owners with 2.0 liter cars.

For more information about the lawsuits against Chrysler and to find out whether you qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001.  You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.

by Jim Orr

Jim Orr is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P focusing on business and personal injury litigation. Jim was selected multiple times to the Super Lawyers List and has tried 70+ cases to verdict.