Fiat Chrysler agrees to nearly $800 million settlement over emissions cheating charges.
U.S. officials had accused the company of installing software that enables certain diesel vehicles to meet government emissions standards during lab tests, even though they emit far more pollution during real-world driving. The case dates to the final days of the Obama administration in early 2017, when the Environmental Protection Agency accused the company of installing software that enables certain diesel trucks to emit far more pollutants than emissions laws allow. The company, which is based in London and was formed by a 2014 merger between U.S. automaker Chrysler and Italian automaker Fiat, denied those accusations.
“By concealing this software, Fiat Chrysler deceived regulators and violated environmental law,” Jesse Panuccio, principal deputy associate attorney general, told reporters in a briefing at the department’s headquarters. “Fiat Chrysler’s conduct was serious and egregious. Its deception robbed the public of the clean air we work hard to protect and put law-abiding competitors at a disadvantage.”
Under the terms of the settlement, the automaker agreed to implement a recall program to repair more than 100,000 out-of-compliance pickup trucks and SUVs, offer an extended warranty on those vehicles and pay a civil penalty of $305 million to settle claims of “cheating on emission tests and failing to disclose unlawful defeat devices,” the Justice Department said. Separately, the company agreed to pay certain vehicle owners $990 to $3,075 each — an amount that could total more than $300 million — to settle class-action claims.