Environment ministry uncovers rigging of emission parts in Jeep and FIAT vehicles

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-12-04 18:30 Updated : 2018-12-04 18:30
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Courtesy of Jeep]

SEOUL --  The Ministry of Environment said in a statement Tuesday that it has discovered illegally rigged EGR parts in Jeep Renegade and FIAT 500X imported by the South Korean branch of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), an Italian and American multinational corporation.

EGR recirculates a portion of exhaust gas back into engine cylinders to increase fuel efficiency and reduce the emission of nitrogen oxide, an air polluting substance, but it is often blamed for degrading performance.

The inspection of Jeep Renegade's emission results since October last year showed that software was illegally manipulated to stop the operation of EGR modules or reduce their performance, resulting in the emission of nitrogen oxide higher than the ministry's qualification standard.

EGR parts were also rigged to show fabricated emission results as other carmakers such as Volkswagen did, the ministry said, adding it would cancel emissions test qualifications for 2,428 Renegade and 500X models. The ministry plans to take legal action against FCA Korea and ask it to correct rigged parts.

South Korea's state anti-trust watchdog slapped the local branch of Audi Volkswagen with a record fine of 37.2 billion won ($33 million) in December 2016 for falsely advertising that its vehicles were "in some ways better than hybrid cars in energy efficiency and more eco-friendly."

German carmaker BMW has carried out recalls of some 171,000 vehicles sold in South Korea after dozens of BMW cars caught fire on the road this year. BMW Korea has insisted that due to a faulty component in EGR modules, the high-temperature exhaust gas is suspected of inflowing into the intake manifold without being cooled, leading to the creation of a hole and a fire on the engine cover.