Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will abandon diesel engines in most of its passenger cars by 2022, according to a Financial Times report. The newspaper cites FCA’s upcoming four-year plan—an update of its last five-year plan to investors, in 2014—in reporting that executives plan to “phase out the fuel type from the cars across its brands.” The report will be made public on June 1. The FT says FCA will keep diesels only in its commercial vehicles and pickups. FCA did not respond to questions.
For the U.S. market, it seems likely that the VM Motori 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 used in the Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and upcoming Jeep Wrangler EcoDiesel will survive intact, as will the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six in heavy-duty Ram pickups and the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel inline-four in the Ram ProMaster van. In other words, FCA’s decision to drop diesel from its global passenger cars shouldn’t affect the current U.S. product line one bit, since the company doesn’t sell any of the relevant diesel cars here. An FCA representative confirmed that the U.S. diesel lineup will not change.
FCA has faced a federal investigation since January 2017 and a civil lawsuit from the Department of Justice in May 2017, alleging that diesel-powered Ram and Jeep models from 2014 through 2016 had emissions-cheating software installed. A separate class-action lawsuit is pending, alleging that FCA had used the same Bosch emissions control software to illegally pass EPA testing on 113,000 Ram and Jeep vehicles as Volkswagen did. Similar suits and investigations against Mercedes-Benz, Ford, and General Motors are also pending. But even Volkswagen, forced by courts and regulators to adopt electric powertrains, has stopped short of dropping all diesels from all future car models worldwide.