(Adds detail on EPA review, possible fines, background on
diesel; updates shares)
Jan 12 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
on Thursday will accuse Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV
of using software that allowed excess diesel emissions in just
over 100,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs sold since 2014, two sources
briefed on the matter said.
The EPA told the automaker it believes its auxiliary
emissions control software allowed vehicles to generate excess
pollution in violation of the law. Fiat Chrysler declined to
A person briefed on the matter said Fiat Chrysler does not
agree with the EPA's assessment. An automaker can use an
auxiliary emissions control device in limited circumstances to
protect the engine from damage, but it must be declared to
Fiat Chrysler's U.S.-listed shares and Milan-listed
shares were each down 14 percent on the news.
The EPA will announce the findings at an 11 a.m. ET
conference call. It comes amid rising scrutiny by EPA of
automaker emissions after Volkswagen AG admitted to
cheating diesel emissions tests in 580,000 U.S. vehicles.
The EPA has for months declined to certify Fiat Chrysler's
2017 diesel vehicles for sale in the United States, but the
automaker has continued to sell 2016 diesel models.
In September 2015, EPA said it would review all U.S. diesel
vehicles following an admission from Volkswagen that it
installed software in cars allowing them to emit up to 40 times
legally permissible level of pollution.
On Wednesday, VW agreed to pay $4.3 billion in criminal and
civil fines and plead guilty to three felonies for misleading
regulators and selling polluting vehicles.
The EPA has extensively investigated the vehicles and Fiat
Chrysler has turned over significant documents as part of the
probe, two people briefed on the matter said.
Fiat Chrysler could face fines of up to $37,500 per vehicle
if it is proven that it violated emissions rules.
The probe covers Fiat Chrysler diesel trucks and SUVs from
the 2014-2016 model years.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Nick Zieminski)