FCA US today takes a major step toward resolving pollution violations in its 3.0L V-6 turbodiesel engine by filing an application for government certification of diesel-powered ’17 model Ram 1500 pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.

In a statement released today, FCA says it is requesting certification of the vehicles by the U.S. EPA and California Air Resources Board based on updated emissions software calibrations.

The same software modifications will be installed on ’14-’16 model Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel vehicles to address the same concern, FCA says.

Some 104,000 vehicles are affected by the issue and FCA has been unable to sell vehicles equipped with its 3.0L diesel for nearly nine months. The EPA cited FCA for emissions violations in January.

“The filing is the result of many months of close collaboration between FCA US and EPA and CARB, including extensive testing of the vehicles, to clarify issues related to the company’s emissions control technology,” FCA statement says.

The statement concludes that FCA believes its actions should “facilitate a prompt resolution” of legal issues raised by the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and other governmental agencies.

Once the certification is approved, owners of the diesel-equipped vehicles will be able to receive the software updates at their dealerships. FCA says the update will reduce emissions without impacting engine performance or fuel efficiency.

The 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 was a Wards 10 Best Engines winner in 2014, 2015 and 2016, cited for its power, refinement and fuel efficiency. The engine was a nominee for 2017 but was not a 4-time winner.

The engine was developed in 2008-2009 by Italy’s VM Motori (which FCA now owns) and previously had been installed in European-market Jeep Grand Cherokees, Chrysler 300Cs (known there as Lancia Themas) and even some Maserati sedans.

The EPA issued its notice of violation following enhanced testing of diesel vehicles dating back to September 2015 when German automaker Volkswagen was found to have installed defeat devices on its passenger-car diesels in a deliberate effort to avoid detection of the vehicles’ failure to meet diesel emissions standards.

bgritzinger@wardsauto.com @bobgritzinger