Fiat Chrysler to pay customers, governments for cheating emissions tests

  • Fiat Chrysler to pay customers, governments for cheating emissions tests

Fiat Chrysler to pay customers, governments for cheating emissions tests

In a settlement announced Thursday by California officials, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agreed to pay $500 million over charges that the global carmaker used "defeat device software" in thousands of diesel cars to cheat on air pollution tests. Another $72 million will be paid to settle claims made by other states.

The recall and federal mitigation programs are estimated to cost up to $185 (£145 / €160) million, while FCA will fork over another $19 (£14.9 / €16.5) million to mitigate excess emissions from vehicles in California.

The pact will resolve civil claims by the Justice Department on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that some Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models contain pollution-control software that improperly limits pollution during lab tests while allowing the vehicles to spew excess emissions on the road.

Owners of these vehicles will also receive a payment averaging US$2800 ($3900) and an extended warranty.

Fiat Chrysler will agree to corporate governance reforms meant to prevent future emissions violations under the agreement, the person said.

The Justice Department said Fiat Chrysler must work with one or more vendors of aftermarket catalytic converters to improve the efficiency of 200,000 converters that will be sold in the 47 US states that do not already require the use of the California-mandated high-efficiency gasoline vehicle catalysts.

The settlement is the second between the US government and an automaker over allegations of cheating on diesel emissions.

Fiat Chrysler won't admit wrongdoing in the settlement.

Under the terms of the settlement, FCA will recall and fix more than 100,000 diesel-powered vehicles in the United States.

"Fiat Chrysler deceived consumers and the federal government by installing (hidden software) on these vehicles that undermined important clean air protections", said Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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

The settlement is not expected to outline any criminal charges, according to ABC News. Asked about the criminal case on Tuesday, Fiat Chrysler said it wouldn't comment on speculation.