This multi-year investigation was focused on Ram trucks as well as Jeep SUVs with diesel engine.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department after a long-running investigation into emissions fraud in select Ram and Jeep models. According to Reuters the company will plead guilty and face fines up to $300 million.
The investigation focused on diesel-powered Ram 1500 pickup trucks as well as Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, which were in operation from 2014 to 2016. The EPA issued a violation notice to FCA in 2017 for alleged violations under the Clean Air Act. According to the EcoDiesel V6 3.0-liter EcoDiesel, it was found to emit higher levels of NOx in certain driving conditions, notably when driven at higher speeds. This was due to engine management software not being disclosed to EPA. Accordingly, certain driving conditions resulted in higher emissions.
FCA was incorporated into the Stellantis conglomerate, which includes over a dozen automobile manufacturers. Motor1.com reached out to Stellantis to obtain a statement about the settlement. However, no reply was received before publication. Reuters says that an announcement about the plea deal could be made as soon as next week.
This is not the first FCA settlement on this matter. settled civil, environmental and consumer claims concerning diesel emission violations in early 2019. ultimately paid $800 million in fines. Recall notices were sent out to approximately 100,000 Ram and Jeep cars for the installation of updated engine software. This was done in order to correct the emission issue. FCA stated that the software update would not affect overall fuel consumption nor drivability. Consumer Reports stated that Ram, Jeep drivers experienced significant drops in power and economy.
Reutersreports a FCA employee will be charged with misleading regulators in relation to the matter. The indictment alleges that the accused conspired with others to install defeat devices during vehicle testing. FCA previously stated that no such devices were ever used. In the 2019 settlement, FCA stands by its position and does not admit to any violations of emission rules.