The recall, reported earlier by Reuters, was prompted by in-use emissions investigations conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and in-use testing by Fiat Chrysler as required by USA regulations, the agency said. They come from the EPA, rather than NHTSA, and are typically the result of after-the-fact tests submitted to the EPA by the automaker, which can then begin the recall process if the results aren't as expected.
"Today's EPA announcement reflects a new policy for announcing routine emissions recalls", said FCA spokesman Eric Mayne.
The vehicles involved in the recall include 2011-2016 Dodge Journey front wheel drive, 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 /Dodge Avenger front wheel drive, 2011-2012 Dodge Caliber front wheel drive continuously variable transmission and 2011-2016 Jeep Compass/Patriot front wheel drive continuously variable transmission. "We began contacting affected customers last month to advise them of the needed repairs, which will be provided at no charge".
Its U.S. -traded shares were down almost 1 percent.
Due to the need to supply such a large number of replacement catalytic converters, the recall will be carried out in four phases through the end of 2019. The company declined to estimate the cost of the recall, only to say it had accounted for the costs in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The EPA says Chrysler will fix the emissions issue by fitting the affected vehicles with a new catalytic converter.
Chrysler will rollout the fix for the oldest vehicles first. These two factors are "associated with premature death, asthma emergency room visits, increased hospitalizations due to exacerbation of chronic heart and lung diseases, and other serious health impacts". Vehicles from the 2011 model year will be fixed during Q1.