Sunday, 16 June, 2019

Fiat Chrysler will pay $800 million to settle diesel emissions lawsuits

News Fiat Chrysler to pay around $650M in emissions cheating case By MICHAEL BALSAMO and Fiat-Chrysler to pay more than $300 million in emissions cheating settlement: Source
Ginger Lawrence | 11 January, 2019, 15:38

In a massive settlement Thursday that involves the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state of California, Fiat Chrysler will adhere to a number of penalties for violating the Clean Air Act and California state law.

Fiat-Chrysler and the Department of Justice each declined to comment when reached by ABC News.

Fiat Chrysler is one of several big European carmakers to be charged in America with fitting vehicles with devices that allowed them to cheat diesel emissions tests. The VW scandal extended to some 11 million other vehicles the company sold worldwide and led to USA criminal charges against eight people.

United States officials said FCA's EcoDiesel Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee for model years 2014-2016 were built with software created to operate differently during emissions tests compared with real-world conditions. German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH, which provided some diesel components for the vehicles, also agreed to pay $27.5 million to resolve claims from diesel owners.

The settlement, according to the source, will include an approximately $305 million fine against Fiat-Chrysler. "Fiat Chrysler's conduct was serious and egregious".

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In 2016, Volkswagen pleaded guilty to criminal charges and agreed to pay a $2.8 billion penalty to settle government lawsuits.

The settlement is the second between the USA government and an automaker over allegations of cheating on diesel emissions. The company will also need to pay about $280 million to compensate owners. VW was found to have colluded with Bosch to pass US emissions only while its vehicles sensed they were being tested by federal agencies, while otherwise they operated in a completely different driving mode that polluted up to 40 times above the legal limit.

California Attorney Xavier Becerra said the automaker "tried to evade these standards by installing software to cheat emissions testing". FCA failed to disclose the software during the process to become certified so the vehicles can be sold, according to the EPA. In addition, all the vehicles being recalled will receive extended warranties.

"Each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifications provided to EPA in the certification applications", the government said.

The federal lawsuit sought civil fines of over $4 billion, as well as court orders stopping the company from making or selling vehicles with undisclosed software. Marchionne died a year ago.