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

Bill Pugliano  Getty Images The Chrysler world headquarters in Auburn Hills Mich

Bill Pugliano Getty Images The Chrysler world headquarters in Auburn Hills Mich

Fiat Chrysler agreed on Thursday to pay hundreds of millions of dollars, including a $300 million fine to the US government, to settle allegations that the Italian-American automaker cheated on emissions tests. Apart from this, part of the settlement includes US$ 311 million in fines and US$ 72 million to other states.

The settlement includes fines and more than $300 million in "consumer relief" and requires Fiat Chrysler to establish a recall program offering motorists an approved plan for modification their emissions systems. It covers 104,000 Fiat Chrysler diesel vehicles from model years 2014-16, court filings said.

The government accused FCA of putting eight "software-based features" on 3.0-litre V6 engines that powered the Jeep and Ram vehicles.

In a massive settlement Thursday that involves the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state of California, Fiat Chrysler will adhere to a number of penalties for violating the Clean Air Act and California state law. 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.

Fiat Chrysler will agree to corporate governance reforms meant to prevent future emissions violations under the agreement, the person said. Owners will receive an average of $2,800 to obtain software updates as part of the emissions recall, Fiat Chrysler said.

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The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in May 2017, accusing the company of using so-called defeat devices to mask pollution levels of its vehicles so they would pass government tests.

This settlement is not expected to outline any criminal charges.

Fiat Chrysler won't admit wrongdoing in the settlement. About 500,000 VW vehicles were involved in the USA cheating scandal.

"Fiat Chrysler broke those laws and this case demonstrates that steep penalties await corporations that engage in such egregious violations", Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio told a news conference. He declined to comment when asked about the status of the investigation. "Today's settlement sends a clear and strong signal to manufacturers and consumers that EPA will vigorously enforce the nation's laws created to protect the environment and public health".

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