Fiat Chrysler to pay $515 mn in U.S. 'dieselgate' settlements

Daniel Fowler
January 11, 2019

The Department of Justice is expected to announce a major settlement with Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday, resolving allegations that the automaker used illegal software to circumvent laboratory emissions inspections on 100,000 diesel vehicles, according to a source briefed on the matter.

The settlement also includes $72.5 million for state civil penalties and $20 million in payments to California and to offset excess emissions.

The settlement resolves allegations that FCA used illegal software to get about 100,000 diesel trucks past laboratory emissions inspections and onto USA roads.

FCA has agreed to pay almost $400 million in civil penalties, including $305 million to the EPA, the Department of Justice, and CARB; $6 million to Customs and Border Protection; and $72.5 million to various state attorneys general.

Fiat Chrysler won't admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

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Volkswagen admitted that its software was improperly installed to deceive emission-testing equipment by making engines put out much lower levels of the pollutants when being tested than they did in real-world driving situations. The company also agreed to buy back some vehicles, fix others, pay to mitigate environmental harm and settle lawsuits for a cost of more than $30 billion.

The Justice Department also opened a criminal investigation into Fiat Chrysler's conduct, and several state attorneys general also were investigating. 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.

The other $400 million will be split between consumers and remedy methods. The company says the update won't have any effect on "average fuel economy, drivability, durability or refinement".

"The settlements do not change the Company's position that it did not engage in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat emissions tests", the automaker said in a statement.

In addition, owners will get an extended warranty on all parts and systems affected by the software update, the settlement states. The Fiat Chrysler settlement does not resolve any criminal allegations, according to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark.

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