Fiat Chrysler cheated on diesel emissions EPA says

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AUBURN HILLS, MI - MAY 6: The new Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Group sign is shown at the Chrysler Group headquarters May 6, 2014 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Today, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne will present the Group's 2014-2018 Business Plan to investors, financial analysts, and key stockholders at the company's 2014 Investor Day The event will included an overview of the FCA Group strategic plans. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — Environmental regulators accused automaker Fiat Chrysler of installing software on 100,000 diesel-powered cars and trucks in order to cheat emissions tests.

The accusation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board (CARB)is similar to the scandal that has plagued automaker Volkswagen for more than a year. Just this week, Volkswagen agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle charges it cheated on diesel emissions tests with more than 590,000 diesel-powered U.S. cars. The Justice Department also indicted six executives of Volkswagen Wednesday.

“This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA. “When companies break the law, Americans depend on the EPA to step in and enforce.”

“Once again, a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said CARB Chair Mary Nichols. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.”

The vehicles cited include 2014, 2015 and 2016 model year Jeep Grand Cherokees SUVs and and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3-liter diesel engines.

Fiat Chrysler did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its shares were down 18%.