Fiat Chrysler to settle USA diesel emissions cases for $1.1 billion

Fiat Chrysler to settle USA diesel emissions cases for $1.1 billion

Fiat Chrysler to settle USA diesel emissions cases for $1.1 billion

Fiat Chrysler will pay $800 million in civil penalties and compliance costs to settle allegations that it installed "defeat device software" allowing its Jeep and Ram diesel vehicles to emit higher levels of nitrogen oxides while driving, the automaker said in a statement on Thursday.

Bosch and its USA unit must pay $98.7 million to 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and Guam, and $27.5 million to 104,000 Fiat Chrysler diesel owners.

It is reported that over 100,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram pickup trucks are involved. Apart from this, part of the settlement includes US$ 311 million in fines and US$ 72 million to other states. Authorities say the vehicles were equipped with diesel engines programmed to run pollution controls during lab tests that would turn off under certain conditions on the road.

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The official announcement is expected to be made later this week by the US Department of Justice and the EPA.

The Justice Department also opened a criminal investigation into Fiat Chrysler's conduct, and several state attorneys general also were investigating. If Fiat Chrysler doesn't get at least 85% of the vehicles brought in for repairs, it will face additional fines. The company has set aside more than $30 billion to cover costs and settlements, including $15 billion to buy back or fix vehicles in the U.S. The practice was discovered in September 2015 when Volkswagen admitted to using them.

Fiat Chrysler has maintained that it didn't deliberately scheme to cheat emissions tests and the company didn't admit wrongdoing.

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The Justice Department filed a suit against Fiat Chrysler in 2017, alleging that it used illegal software to skirt emissions regulations, akin to what VW did that led to Dieselgate.

"Today's settlement sends a clear and strong signal to manufacturers and consumers that the Trump administration will vigorously enforce the nation's laws created to protect the environment and public health", said Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

At issue is what CARB calls "auxiliary emission-control devices" (in other words, software code) that can allow excess pollution at specific times, such as during a cold start or for dumping fuel to clean the particulate filter, that must be disclosed. Asked about the criminal case on Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler said it wouldn't comment on speculation.

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