Fiat Chrysler will pay nearly $800M in emissions case
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties and remedial efforts under an agreement announced Thursday to settle lawsuits over false emissions readings on diesel vehicles.
Including extended warranties and other provisions, the settlement could cost the company close to $800 million.
The Justice Department sued the company in 2017 over the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that it had used illegal engine-control software that turned off pollution controls under certain driving conditions. The EPA contended that the software enabled the vehicles to pass emissions tests while allowing them to release higher levels of pollutants in normal driving, conduct the agency called “serious and egregious.”
Under the settlement, the company will pay $305 million in civil penalties in connection with those claims, the Justice Department said, and another $6 million over allegations of illegally importing noncompliant vehicles.
It will also pay $19 million to mitigate excess emissions from noncompliant vehicles in California, which also sued the company.
“Fiat Chrysler’s effort to defeat emissions controls is a clear violation of the law, and they also tried to hide their actions,” the EPA’s acting administrator, Andrew Wheeler, said in a conference call. “The EPA caught them cheating.”
As part of the agreement, Fiat Chrysler will recall about 100,000 diesel-powered Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 model years, a person briefed on the settlement said. The recall repair involves installing new software in the vehicles and providing extended warranties, at a total cost of up to $185 million, the Justice Department said.
Vehicle owners will be eligible for compensation of $990 to $3,075 from Fiat Chrysler and Bosch, a German company that supplied engine computers and software.
The Justice Department said the settlement did not resolve any potential criminal liability.