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Fiat Calls EPA’s Emission Cheating Accusation ‘Unadulterated Hogwash’

REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Fiat Chrysler’s CEO called the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) accusations that the company violated U.S. clean air regulations “absolute nonsense.”

Sergio Marchionne, the head of Fiat, claimed Thursday that his company never violated the Clean Air Act and called the agency’s accusation “unadulterated hogwash.” He also pledged to work with the incoming Trump administration to clear up any misunderstandings.

Marchionne said it “intends to work with the incoming administration to present its case and resolve this matter fairly and equitably and to assure the EPA and [the company’s U.S.] customers that the company’s diesel-powered vehicles meet all applicable regulatory requirements.”

Fiat’s CEO said his “biggest fear is people will start drawing parallels” between his company and Volkswagen, which has been under the gun after the German automaker admitted in 2015 to duping regulators with so-called cheat devices.

The number of Fiat vehicles affected is dwarfed by Volkswagen’s massive violation from a year ago that affected nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles. EPA claims Marchionne’s company affixed software to more than 104,000 of its 3.0-liter diesel-powered vehicles to bamboozle emission tests.

VW admitted in September 2015 to installing the defeat devices would only kick on during road conditions when emission measuring tools were not engaged.

VW, for its part, agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement Wednesday, putting an end to the U.S. government’s investigations into the German automaker’s diesel emissions cheating. Several executives and employees with the company were charged in the 10-year conspiracy.

EPA and the Department of Homeland Security officials were among those present at a press conference announcing the charges. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy used the news to champion the agency’s cause.

“The American people demand a strong EPA” to protect people from corporations that pollute and poison the environment and waterways, McCarthy said at the conference.

“Individuals with VW are being charged to show that those who commit serious crimes will be charged with face serious charges,” McCarthy said, adding: The EPA keeps big corporations from running rough shod over American consumers.

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