DETROIT — It's taken a couple months, but EcoDiesel-powered 2017 Ram 1500s have begun to show up on dealership lots for the first time since the federal government accused Fiat Chrysler of not disclosing software that changed the way the vehicle's emissions system operates.
But though FCA received official clearance in late July to begin selling 2017 Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees powered by its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel engine, the variants may not be around for long. The EPA has yet to certify sales for the coming 2018 model year, a spokeswoman for the agency said.
Some dealers began receiving their first EcoDiesel Ram 1500s of the year in late September, according to dealer websites. Others have yet to receive diesel vehicles they ordered.
FCA began producing EcoDiesel Rams in early July in anticipation of receiving clearance from the EPA to sell the vehicles, but it didn't begin shipping them to dealers for more than two months.
FCA suspended production of EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500 and Grand Cherokees in late 2016 because they hadn't received certification. In January, the EPA hit FCA with a notice of violation over eight pieces of emissions control software the agency alleges illegally altered vehicle emissions under certain circumstances. In May, the Department of Justice's Environmental and Natural Resources Division filed a civil suit against FCA over undeclared diesel emissions software.
FCA says it is continuing to cooperate with the EPA and the California Air Resources Board "to clarify issues related to the Company's emissions control technology" in hopes of settling its dispute.
The automaker said in May that it "has developed updated emissions software calibrations that it believes address the concerns of EPA and CARB." FCA said that if it receives permission from the EPA and CARB, it "intends to install the same modified emissions software in 2014-2016 MY Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles."