Fiat Chrysler is in regulatory hot water after the EPA discovered that hundreds of thousands of their vehicles no longer meet emissions standards.
FCA is quickly getting a reputation for being a bad polluter these days. First, it was announced that Fiat Chrysler was paying “significant fines” for not making cars that achieve minimum fuel economy standards, which are expected to top $1.2 billion for the 2018 model year. Now we’re being told that older model FAC vehicles are polluting above EPA regulations and are going to be recalled.
According to Reuters, 965,000 vehicles in the US and Canada are being recalled as a result of polluting above the law. The recall was initiated after the EPA and Fiat Chrysler discovered that the catalytic converters were starting to break down far earlier than anticipated and were causing affected vehicles to emit harmful pollutants above the recommended levels.
A catalytic converter is a device attached to a vehicle’s exhaust that chemically converts certain pollutants into less harmful ones. Usually, this involves turning carbon monoxide into less harmful (although still climate change-causing) carbon dioxide, as well as converting nitrous oxides (a primary component of urban smog) into harmless nitrogen and water.
Roughly 863,000 vehicles in the US are affected by the recall, as well as 103,000 in Canada. Affected vehicles so far are 2011-2016 Dodge Journeys, 2011-2014 Chrysler 200s and Dodge Avengers, 2011-2012 Dodge Calibers, and 2011-2016 Jeep Compass/Patriots.
However, the investigation is ongoing and is expected to increase both the number and type of recalled vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler issued a statement saying that the recall “has no safety implications. Nor are there any associated fines.
“The issue was discovered by FCA during routine in-use emissions testing and reported to the agency,” the company said. “We began contacting affected customers last month to advise them of the needed repairs, which will be provided at no charge.”
Due to the size of the recall and the lack of currently available catalytic converters, FCA will perform the recall in phases. Registered owners will be contacted to have their vehicle’s catalytic converter replaced free of charge.