The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday a $ 305 million civil settlement between Fiat Chrysler and the EPA in a lawsuit against illegal software that was found on certain Dodge Ram diesel models and the Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel models .
Settlement conditions also included an additional $ 19 million payment to the California state that regulates auto emissions through the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
In addition, it is expected that Fiat Chrysler will upgrade software on all vehicles that violate the rules and pay for a mitigation fund that will improve the damage caused by the excess nitric oxide (NOx) emissions. Both programs will cost the company an additional $ 185 million.
The DOJ said that Fiat Chrysler would also have to pay US $ 6 million in civil penalties to US customs and border protection in order to "save allegations of the illegal import of 1,700 non-compliant vehicles".
The settlement comes two years after EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of installing undisclosed and illegal software on 104,000 vehicles, including the 3.0L diesel Dodge Ram 1500 and the diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees between 2014 and 2016. EPA claimed that the program the vehicle was tested under laboratory conditions and implemented the entire emission control system so that the car could carry out EPA emissions tests. But when the vehicle is in a real situation, the software would reduce the efficiency of the emission control system in order to make the car work better.
According to the leader (Volkswagen Group)
If you think it sounds much like a scam that put Volkswagen Group in hot water between 2015 and 2017, then you're not far off. EPA spokesman George Hull told Ars that the VW Group software and the EPA software identified by Fiat Chrysler are different. However, the software seems to be similar to the purpose. The EPA newsletter states that Fiat Chrysler vehicles included "at least eight software-based features" that "prevent or reduce the effectiveness of vehicle emission control systems in certain normal driving conditions."
Hull told Ars that only five of these software-based features were found on all models. "One of them was present only in vehicles for the 2014 model year, and two were present only in the model year 2015 and vehicles in the 2016 model year," wrote Hull. "In the software and calibrations from year to year there have been changes that have changed how some emission control devices were implemented in model years."
We know that the VW software included at least 10 "checks" to determine whether the vehicle was in the laboratory or not. The car code would then adjust the emission control functions (such as the fuel injection time, how the exhaust gas is recirculated through the vehicle and how much urea is injected into the exhaust).
However, there are differences in these two diesel scandals. EPA says Fiat Chrysler has sold only 104,000 illegal vehicles, compared with more than 600,000 displacement vehicles sold by the VW Group (including 2.0L and 3.0L Volkswagens, Audis and Porsches). It seems that Fiat Chrysler has also proposed software-based patches in due time for all of its vehicles. The VW Group's scandal was noticeable by the fact that the regulators were skeptical about the numerous software and physical corrections that the company proposed to keep their customers on the road.
As part of the settlement, Fiat Chrysler will have to ensure that at least 85 percent of the US fleet is upgraded to comply with US emission standards within two years after the final settlement of the settlement has been finalized.
According to the statements Wall Street Journal"The company did not recognize any environmental violations in the settlement and said that there was no" deliberate scheme for installing devastating devices for fraudulent emission tests ".
The deal still does not end all legal disadvantages for Fiat Chrysler: criminal charges could still be filed against the company, and ongoing actions by individual consumers will continue.