Not just diesel: FCA recalling 860K cars for emissions failure

2014 Dodge Avenger

Fiat Chrysler has recalled 862,520 gas-powered vehicles after on-road testing showed they might not meet emissions standards.

The vehicles to be recalled, including the Dodge Avenger, Caliber, and Journey, and the Chrysler 200 (a twin of the Avenger) spanning from 2011 to 2016, met original EPA laboratory emissions tests, but failed in the kind of followup road tests implemented after emissions cheating was uncovered in millions of VW diesels.

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Following the VW diesel scandal, the EPA and automakers began conducting the additional on-road testing, with mobile emissions-testing equipment strapped to the back of the cars. These are the tests that uncovered cheating on emissions tests in several modern diesels after 2009, which disabled some emissions equipment on the road and only turned it on when the car detected it was being tested in a lab. 

There’s been nothing suggested that this has anything to do with a defeat device. Chrysler said the non-compliant emissions were discovered in “routine in-use emissions testing, and reported to the EPA.”

“Today’s EPA announcement reflects a new policy for announcing routine emissions recalls,” said FCA spokesman Eric Mayne. “This campaign has no safety implications. Nor are there any associated fines.”

The recall affects catalytic converters, and potentially other components, in front-wheel drive 2011-2016 Dodge Journey, 2011 and 2012 Dodge Caliber, 2011-2014 Avenger and Chrysler 200, as well as the 2011-2016 Jeep Compass and Patriot. The report did not specify which engines might be involved, but various versions of the four cars shared a 2.4-liter inline-4.

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Under the recall, catalytic converters will be refurbished or replaced. Mayne specified that the materials from the old catalytic converters will be recycled.

The EPA told Reuters that it will continue its investigation into other Fiat Chrysler models, which it says could also be non-compliant and may be subject to future recalls.

It’s not the first time that Chrysler’s engines have been found not to be compliant with emissions standards. Diesels in the company’s Jeep Grand Cherokees and Ram diesel models were recalled in conjunction with the VW diesel lawsuit, and the Cummins diesel engines in the Ram Heavy Duty were also recalled a separate case.

Chrysler said it began contacting customers last month to have the recall work done.

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