Fiat Chrysler makes diesels again as US is said to near ruling – Chicago Tribune

Fiat Chrysler resumed making diesel Ram pickups that were ordered off the market by U.S. regulators, preparing for a verdict from the Environmental Protection Agency in hopes of being able to sell them.

The carmaker began building a small number of the Ram trucks again this month, a spokesman said. The EPA is close to deciding whether or not to approve the pickups and the diesel-powered Jeep sport utility vehicle for sale as 2017 models, two people familiar with the matter said.

At stake is both the fate of the most fuel-efficient full-size pickup in the U.S. and a broader indication of whether regulators are inclined to treat diesel-powered engines as viable. The EPA and the California Air Resources Board have ratcheted up scrutiny of the powertrains in the wake of Volkswagen AG’s emissions software scandal dating back to 2015. The U.S. Department of Justice sued Fiat Chrysler in May, accusing the company of similar cheating.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has been adamant that the company wasn’t trying to deceive regulators or circumvent clean-air rules. He’s said the EPA changed its process for documentation of software that allows for excess emissions in certain circumstances to protect the engine.

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