Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said on Wednesday that it will recall nearly 865,000 vehicles that do not meet US emissions standards, after settling claims that it manufactured vehicles that emitted more pollution than legally allowed.
The voluntary recall of 2011 through 2016 model year Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler vehicles will be implemented throughout the year, the US Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday. The agency said it would continue to investigate non-compliant FCA vehicles, which could also be subject to future recalls.
“EPA welcomes the action by Fiat Chrysler to voluntarily recall its vehicles that do not meet US emissions standards,” said recently confirmed EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement. “We will provide assistance to consumers navigating the recall and continue to ensure that auto manufacturers abide by our nation’s laws designed to protect human health and the environment.”
FCA downplayed the recall as “routine.” In a statement, the company said, “We are advised that today’s EPA announcement reflects a new policy for announcing routine emissions recalls. This campaign has no safety implications. Nor are there any associated fines.”
FCA said it “discovered” the issue during regular emissions testing and reported it to the agency. “We began contacting affected customers last month to advise them of the needed repairs, which will be provided at no charge,” the company said.
In January, FCA agreed to settle allegations from federal regulators that the company used software on about 104,000 diesel-powered pickups and SUVs to trick emissions tests. The deal requires the automaker to pay $280 million of the total $800 million settlement to compensate drivers of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 pickups from the 2014-16 model years with 3-liter V-6 diesel engines.
The settlement didn’t require Fiat Chrysler to admit wrongdoing, nor did it resolve any potential criminal liability associated with the emissions violations, the Justice Department said at the time. Prosecutors have been investigating Fiat Chrysler since 2017, but they have yet to file any charges.
The auto industry has been plagued by allegations of illegal polluting since the revelation four years ago that Volkswagen was deliberately rigging millions of diesel vehicles with software to trick emissions tests. In January 2017, VW pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties.