Fiat Chrysler Automobiles agrees to pay $800 million to settle fraudulent diesel software test emissions charges

Car maker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has agreed to pay $800 million to settle charges over the illegal diesel software that produced fraudulent emissions-test results. It has agreed to pay US$311 million in civil penalties to national and Californian regulators, US$280 million in owners’ claims and another US$105 million in extended warranty reserves. The company was Sued by both the state of California and the US Department of Justice, and the company has agreed to pay more per car than the Volkswagen Group’s US$25 billion settlement did. The total settlement breaks down to US$6,692 for each of its 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep diesels it sold from 2014 to 2016. Both Volkswagen and FCA paid around US$2500 per car for the California and DOJ settlements, and FCA’s customers will each receive about US$2800.

Regulators found that the company had used “defeat” devices to cover up its true emissions figures, even though FCA insisted it had done nothing illegal.

“Fiat Chrysler tried to evade these standards by installing software to cheat emissions testing,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.
“The company not only violated the law and our trust but did so at the expense of our environment.”

The settlement does not end its criminal investigations into the emissions cheat, while the US stock market watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission, was also investigating FCA.

And FCA wasn’t the only company in trouble over its defeat device, with the ubiquitous German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH – the same company that supplied the illegal software for Volkswagen’s 11 million emissions-cheater cars – also settling with diesel owners for US$27.5 million.

Bosch also agreed to a US$103.5 million settlement with 47 US states, which accused it of “enabling” the cheat and the New York Attorney General’s office argued it had a duty of care to know its customers could have used the built-in shortcut.

Unlike Volkswagen, which pleaded guilty to three counts of felony, Bosch or Fiat Chrysler have not admitted any guilt. The supplier instead argued it settled because of: “Bosch’s desire to move forward and to spare the company the very substantial costs and the burden on the company’s resources that would be required to litigate these issues.”