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The song remains the same: Fiat-Chrysler follows Volkswagen into court over diesel emissions

May 18, 2017 0 Comments

Fiat-Chrysler seems to to be following in Volkswagen’s carbon footprint. On Thursday morning, Fiat NV shares fell by 3.1 percent when it was reported that the Justice Department is preparing a civil suit against the company for selling vehicles that produce surplus diesel emissions.

Just like their rival automaker Volkswagen, FCA has been accused by the EPA and California Air Resources Board of using “undisclosed software” to allow diesel emissions that exceed the legal limit in some 104,000 U.S. 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.


VM Motori, a subsidiary of FCA, manufactured the engines, with additional engine components supplied by Robert Bosch. In 2010 FCA attained a 50 percent stake in VM Motori, gaining the rest of it in October 2013.

According to Automotive News, Bosch is facing “about two dozen lawsuits from owners in connection with the FCA diesel vehicles.”

The EPA and Justice Department secured documents and internal emails that deal with engine development and the emissions issues. According to Reuters, people briefed on the investigation said the documents obtained “raise significant questions.”

A hearing has been set for May 24 by a federal judge for a series of lawsuits against the automaker, filed by vehicle owners and dealers alike. If no agreement is reached between the FCA and the Justice Department, the latter is expected to file its suit.

On Wednesday, the FCA said it “believed any litigation would be counterproductive” to the current discussions with California and the EPA. The company has also said that they it will “defend itself vigorously,” especially against claims that FCA “installed defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests” on purpose (Automotive News).

FCA said it is working with the EPA and California to win approval to sell their 2017 diesel models.

The automaker claims that they are conducting ongoing regulated testing, and hopes to address regulator’s concerns about emissions by “install[ing] modified emissions software” without having to make any changes to their hardware.

In a show of cooperation, the FCA has also said it is preserving relevant documents and has disclosed an “investigation hold” affecting around 190 former and current employees.

According to Automotive News, the European Commission has also “launched legal action” against Italy for “failing to respond to allegations of emission-test cheating” by the automaker, which could end up with Italy being taken to court.

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The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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