Fiat Chrysler has reached a settlement with the Justice Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the owners of about 100,000 of their diesel-powered Jeep SUV’s and Ram pickups. After facing charges that the company had sold diesel vehicles in the United States that had improper software — allowing it to violate emissions rules — Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay $800 million to settle the matter.
The automaker will pay different state and federal agencies approximately $400 million in fines, plus $280 million to the car owners — which is up to $2,800 per vehicle. The additional $120 million will go to various efforts to curb emissions and future warranty costs.
Fiat Chrysler will need to get at least 85 percent of affected vehicles repaired or risk facing additional fines.
The vehicles involved in the settlement are Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 model years and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks that have a 3-liter diesel engine. To receive a settlement payment, car owners will first need to have their vehicle repaired.
“Today’s settlement sends a clear and strong signal to manufacturers and consumers that the Trump administration will vigorously enforce the nation’s laws designed to protect the environment and public health,” said Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
He added that Fiat Chrysler, aside from breaking the law, also made the efforts to hide their conduct. However, the deal did not include any admission of guilt or wrongdoing by the company.
The settlement is only a fraction of what Volkswagen was forced to pay in 2016 when the company was fined for installing emission deceiving software into a half-million diesel cars. As a result, Volkswagen paid $14.7 billion and the company admitted that they improperly installed the software to vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler has continued to maintain that they did nothing wrong, and their software for their diesel engines was a legitimate way to meet emission standards.
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