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Will More Stringent EPA Diesel Tests Affect the Ram EcoDiesel?

5358 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  MLGAutoLaw

In the wake of the VW diesel emissions cheating scandal the EPA has announced that it will be "upping" its game to ensure other automakers have not been involved in cheating emissions tests as well. The intensified testing regime will include more spot checks of light-duty cars and trucks owned by individuals and rental companies.

There will be three entities involved in the testing. The EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions lab in Ann Arbor will be joined by the California Air Resources Board and Environment Canada in testing all diesel configurations from all manufacturers that are sold in North America. The three entities will also be sharing all of their results.

Obviously, the Ram EcoDiesel will be one of the vehicles that is subject to this increased scrutiny. FCA has stated publicly that it does not use defeat devices, which detect when a car is being tested and change configurations in order to show better results in emissions testing. They are most likely telling the truth when they say that because while other automakers did not use a defeat device, they did design their vehicles to perform better in the lab than they would in regular driving.

“The issue is a systemic one” across the industry, said Nick Molden, whose company Emissions Analytics tested the cars. The Guardian revealed last week that diesel cars from Renault, Nissan, Hyundai, Citroen, Fiat, Volvo and Jeep all pumped out significantly more NOx in more realistic driving conditions. NOx pollution is at illegal levels in many parts of the UK and is believed to have caused many thousands of premature deaths and billions of pounds in health costs.

All the diesel cars passed the EU’s official lab-based regulatory test (called NEDC), but the test has failed to cut air pollution as governments intended because carmakers designed vehicles that perform better in the lab than on the road. There is no evidence of illegal activity, such as the “defeat devices” used by Volkswagen.
Given that two of the implicated brands are also under the FCA umbrella, it wouldn't be that surprising if the Ram EcoDiesel also employed a similar strategy. One can only be sceptical considering that the Ram EcoDiesel leads its segment with 2 MPG highway over its closest competitor, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost F-150.

What do you guys think? Will the Ram EcoDiesel prove to conform to all the regulations it is supposed, and also have the same mileage and emissions rating as advertised, when it is subjected to more intense scrutiny?
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I would imagine that because some of us have issues with the regen that this is indeed a system that is working as opposed to 'cheating' the system. Perhaps it doesn't meet the requirements? I don't know but if it doesn't, FCA can't be faulted for ducking the system because the system is in use. Also I think that overall the truck industry will always recognize the use of diesels. Where it's tuff is with the diesel car market here in the United States. If VW can't make this work, and other manufacturers are found to fail as well, and they don't think they are going to meet the next requirement which is even more strict, then I can see manufacturers saying forget about diesel cars, lets keep moving forward with gas/electric hybrids, and/or total electrics... Which unfortunately would drive the cost of diesel higher because less people would be using it.
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