The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of illegally using hidden software that allowed significant excess diesel emissions, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators’ investigation of rival Volkswagen AG.
The EPA action affects 104,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs sold since 2014, about one-sixth the number of vehicles than in the Volkswagen case. The maximum fine is about $4.6 billion.
The EPA and California Air Resources Board told Fiat Chrysler it believes its undeclared auxiliary emissions control software allowed vehicles to generate excess pollution in violation of the law.
Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne denied the company was cheating and has been in talks with EPA and made significant disclosures of documents.