Rumour: FCA to pay US$ 650m for diesel emission settlement

2016 Ram 1500 EcoDieselCosta Mouzouris

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will pay out roughly US$800 million ($1.1 billion) in fines, fixes and compensation to settle claims some of its diesel engines cheated their way past emissions regulations.

According to the United States government, FCA used "illegal and undisclosed software" on 2014-2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine.

The settlement resolves allegations that FCA used illegal software to get about 100,000 diesel trucks past laboratory emissions inspections and onto US roads. The VW scandal extended to some 11 million other vehicles the company sold worldwide and led to US criminal charges against eight people. The company also reached a $280 million settlement with the owners of 100,000 diesel-powered Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup.

The case, announced by the state Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board, is similar to the multibillion-dollar settlement made by Volkswagen over the use of the rogue software.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra added, "The company not only violated the law and our trust, but did so at the expense of our environment".

Fiat Chrysler has maintained that it didn't deliberately scheme to cheat emissions tests and the company didn't admit wrongdoing. If Fiat Chrysler doesn't get at least 85% of the vehicles brought in for repairs, it will face additional fines.

Fiat Chrysler will agree to corporate governance reforms meant to prevent future emissions violations under the agreement, the person said. The company will also pay a $305 (£239 / €265) million civil penalty and "implement a program to mitigate excess pollution from these vehicles". VW's tally is past $25 billion in the U.S. alone. The government says the software acted as a defeat device as it would fully activate emission controls during EPA and California emissions testing, but "reduce or deactivate emission controls" during real world driving. He declined to comment when asked about the status of the investigation.

This settlement is not expected to outline any criminal charges.

"Fiat Chrysler deceived consumers and the federal government by installing defeat devices on these vehicles that undermined important clean air protections", EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a prepared statement Thursday.

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