Fiat Chrysler agreed Wednesday to pay a settlement of over $500 million dollars regarding allegations over cheating federal and state emission tests.
The consent decree acknowledges that Fiat Chrysler violated Clean Air Act and California law. The decree did not resolve criminal liability nor individual consumer claims regarding the emission scandal.
Fiat Chrysler was ordered to begin a recall program on 100,000 non-compliant diesel vehicles. The company has a two year timeline to repair at least 85 percent of the vehicles before facing more penalties. Fiat Chrysler must also extend the warranty on those vehicles it has repaired and test vehicles for five years to ensure that the vehicles continue to meet emission standards. The company will pay additional penalties for failure to meet the emission standard on repaired vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler is to pay penalty of $305 million to settle claims of cheating emission and failing to disclose unlawful defeat devices. An additional $6 million civil penalty to resolve illegally importing 1,700 non-compliant vehicles.
Model year 2014-2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokees with Eco Diesel 3.0 liter engines were equipped with illegal software that activated full emission controls when tested for emissions, however in normal driving conditions the software reduced or deactivated emission controls, causing higher pollution levels than is legal.
Owners of the effected vehicles will receive between $990 and $3,075, plus an extended warranty and an emissions fix to compensate them.
“Fiat Chrysler deceived consumers and the federal government by installing defeat devices on these vehicles that undermined important clean air protections,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s settlement sends a clear and strong signal to manufacturers and consumers that EPA will vigorously enforce the nation’s laws designed to protect the environment and public health.”