Chrysler's Dieselgate: 100,000 Chrysler trucks said to have emissions "defeat devices"

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For now, the EPA says that while the vehicles emit emissions in excess of federal regulations, they are safe and legal for owners to drive.

Makes you wonder what they would have to emit for the EPA to say they were not safe.


Fiat-Chrysler is denying the allegations. Knowing the details of each vehicle’s emissions system, I believe their denial. The reason why F-C doesn’t use diesels in any of their smaller vehicles is because the bulky and expensive components needed to meet NOx emissions standards simply take up too much room. They have a large tank for urea, for example, which is used to provide extra nitrogen in order to turn NOx into nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and water vapor within a catalytic converter.

By contrast, it was obvious just by looking at VW’s emission systems that they were cheating. There was no way that they could have ever met general emisisons standards with the tiny little urea tank they fit into their cars, which was the size of a windshield washer fluid tank. Quite obviously they were only injecting urea into the exhaust under special circumstances – like, say, being emissions tested – and there was absolutely no way they could meet emissions standards under normal operations. There simply wasn’t enough urea in that tiny little tank for that, and diesels really can’t have their NOx ratcheted back with a richer mixture by throttling the way gas engines are because they depend on a full gulp of air in order to compress enough to generate enough heat for compression ignition when the diesel fuel gets injected. Diesels instead rely on urea injection and a NOx + urea + excess O2 -> N2 H2O CO2 catalyst in order to meet NOx standards. VW’s hardware was way too wimpy to ever actually work outside of EPA testing.

The hardware under FCA’s trucks with the Ecodiesel, on the other hand, is probably the best emission hardware for diesels on the planet right now. That’s some expensive and capable hardware, unlike the wimpy clearly inadequate hardware that was under VW’s hoods. If there’s a problem, it has to be software, not hardware. Because if this hardware can’t meet emission standards, then no diesel can meet emissions standards, and we might as well just outlaw diesel powered cars entirely.


I assume they’re safe (well, apart from that whole climate change thing …), but how the fuck are they legal?

What is this, Claytons Regulations?

Probably legal to drive but not to sell. They can’t suddenly leave 100,000 people without transportation for Chrysler’s fuckup.

If I understand correctly, EPA regulations like this pertain to manufacture and import; what you’re allowed to drive on public roads is up to individual states. Some require a safety inspection to renew vehicle registration, in others you only need a smog certificate.

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Your post was very informative, thanks.
I’ve been following emissions technology since I worked as a Diesel R&D engineer at the start of my career, and the comment I would make is that I think in the long term Diesel is dead, as the efficiency advantages are lost to other technologies.
Honda and Toyota have both said this in the past as far as small engine technology is concerned, and I got out of Diesel cars in 2007 when I decided that they were right and I didn’t want the particulates around my house (or anywhere else). I was more concerned about particulates than NOx and I still am, but then we don’t here have the traffic density or weather patterns of, say, California.
Now we even have ships with the largest engines burning LPG (or LNG) (using a small amount of derv as a combustion initiator) there’s going to be growing pressure to get Diesel out of marine too. What do we do with all the oil? Crack and reform to make hydrogen?


Chrysler makes trucks?

Now you’ve got the incoming President’s attention for sure.


The name of the company is Fiat-Chrysler. Dodge and Jeep are marques under their corporate umbrella.



It would be easier and cheaper just to have a bumper sticker reading “Sociopathic Trump voter”, but the true sign of dickishness is the willingness to spend money and damage your own property to inconvenience other people.


Don’t cars have to meet emission standards once they are on the road in America?

In many cases not really. Depends on State/County. Some have no inspections at all, so you can do whatever you like. It might be an offence if you are pulled over, but you seem to be able to get away with a lot. The Justrolledintotheshop subreddit is a goldmine. Brake disks worn away to the internal ribbing seems are common posts.

Try to import a recent model car and you’ll get the feds around to crush it though.


Most states (but not all) require a periodic emissions test, but some vehicles (i.e. very old or very new) may be exempt. I’m guessing the driver of that truck stomped on the throttle just to show off for the camera.


Jesus Chrysler. . . .

And I’m sure they will work with the new administration to rush their new line of coal-powered trucks to the market.

Where are that weenies trucknuts?

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Oddly, FIAT never liked Diesels. They were forced into them.

No, people (and I use the term loosely here) actually modify their vehicles deliberately to blast thick clouds of smoke. Apparently this is to show that they are not subservient weak girly-men gamma rabbit feminazi lie-brul morons but rather fully self-realized alpha-male heroic impregnators of the future race-masters.

My hope is that enough of their toxic crap gets in their lungs to kill them fairly slowly.


Looks environmental to me! :wink:

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The “rolling coal” people actually remove the particulate filter and modify their ECU to dump large amounts of fuel into the cylinders in order to blast the black soot out their pipe(s). This of course washes fuel into their oil supply (resulting in oil dilution) and causes engine damage over time, but they’re more interested in being a sociopath than in preserving the life of a $50,000 truck.