This is part of the same diesel scandal Volkswagen was caught up in back in late 2015
The EcoDiesel engine used in the 2014-2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee is to blame
This fine will be part of a plea deal the automaker will take
Stellantis is facing a $300 million penalty due to one of its diesel engines having been found non-compliant with the regulations regarding pollution in the United States and especially California.
Since Volkswagen was caught up in a scandal involving its diesel engines in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Ressource Board (CARB) have been looking into diesel powered vehicles much more closely and a number of other manufacturers have been found to sell engines that are not compliant with the federal or state laws regarding Nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions.
The 3.0L EcoDiesel that was installed in some 2014-2016 model year Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models was apparently equipped with a number of software codes that could affect the levels of pollution emitted at certain times, which hadn’t been disclosed to the authorities when the engine was certified.
This is a problem since the EPA allows diesel engines to pollute more then usual during a cold start or when the particulate filter needs regeneration, but it requires the automaker to identify each piece of the software that has an effect on the emissions of the vehicle, which FCA, who has since become Stellantis, hasn’t done.
The automaker will enter a plea deal in which it will pay $300 million to the federal government and to California, although the details have not been finalised yet. An earlier proposed fine of $800 million included a $2,800 check to every owner of one of the 100,000 affected vehicles, but this measure has not been confirmed to be part of the plea deal.
The later model years of the EcoDiesel engines are not included in the settlement since starting in 2017, the engine does comply with all of the relevant laws and regulations.
Stellantis is not the only automaker to have been under investigation for its diesel engines, since apart from the Volkswagen group, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and General Motors are also facing a federal enquiry.