Legendary Green Bay Packers’ Head Coach Vince Lombardi famously had this to say when things didn’t go well for his team on the field:
What the Hell is going on out there?”
According to reports from The Drive, Fiat Chrysler has been caught cheating on emissions tests administered in Italy. This Wednesday, the European Commission demanded answers from the Italian government over its handling of the allegations against the company, leading to any disciplinary action.
The Detroit Free Press says the United States is prepared to act by suing Fiat Chrysler over the same issue. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice is poised to take action by next Wednesday. The class-action accuses the company of using so-called defeat devices, which disable pollution controls to enhance performance.
All of this comes on the heels of a two-year scandal that ripped the heart out of Volkswagen, thus ruining its reputation and costing executives their jobs. As it turned out, “Clean Diesel” was a diesel, but it was anything but clean. The Justice Department took this same action Against VW in early 2016. That was nearly four months after the German company admitted using software to emit excess diesel emissions in nearly 500,000 vehicles.
As for Fiat Chrysler, they are fighting back, based on what happened at Volkswagen. FCA said this Wednesday they believe litigation would be “counterproductive” to ongoing discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Justice Department has had an ongoing criminal investigation into FCA’s conduct since last year. Reuters reports that the probe turned up internal emails written in Italian and other documents about engine development and emissions issues, sources briefed on the probe said.
U.S. regulators said FCA failed to disclose engine management software in 104,000 U.S. 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, all with 3.0-liter diesel engines.
Vehicle emissions are health hazards, and it really is that simple. Internal combustion engines create ozone, and lung tissue is destroyed. In short, ozone is poison to asthmatics and people with various other lung diseases.
Somewhere, Coach Lombardi is saying his famous line, and people who remember the skies over Los Angeles before regulations are nodding along.