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Fiat Chrysler diesel marketing needs wider scrutiny says US senator

A US senator has called for a probe in to Fiat Chrysler's marketing of diesel-powered SUVs, after The Environmental Protection Agency accused the car marque of violating emissions standards in over 100,000 diesel vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler

Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, urged the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Fiat Chrysler had deceptively marketed its diesel-powered SUVs, according to Reuters.

The concerns draw parallels with the Volkswagen emissions scandal, which on Wednesday (11 January) agreed to pay the largest ever US criminal fine handed to an automaker to settle charges that it conspired for nearly 10 years to cheat on diesel emission tests.

The action by US regulators sent shares of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) plunging by roughly 14% and by as much as 18% in the US.

The accusations by the EPA calls out 104,000 trucks and SUVs in the US, sold since 2014, and the maximum fine is said to be around $4.6bn. The agency, along with the California Air Resources Board, apparently told Fiat Chrysler that it believed its undeclared auxiliary emissions control software allowed the vehicles to generate more pollution than was allowed by the law, making the vehicles in violation.

FCA is contesting the charge and will prove that its emissions controls are justified, meaning the case will be pushed into the administration of incoming President Donald Trump.

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