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Fiat Chrysler stumps up $1.1 billion for alleged emissions cheat

By Andy Enright, 11 Jan 2019 News

Fiat Chrysler stumps up $1.1 billion for alleged emissions cheat

Over 100,000 Grand Cherokees and RAM 1500s to be recalled

FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES (FCA) has agreed to pay around US$800 million (A$1.1billion) in a raft of fines, recalls and customer compensation settlements after its Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 vehicles fitted with 3.0-litre V6 EcoDiesel engines were alleged to have violated clean air rules.

German components-maker Robert Bosch GmbH also got dragged into the melee. The US Justice department found that Bosch had supplied the engine control devices that were rigged to pass EPA emission tests and will pay USD$27.5m (A$38m) as part of the settlement with consumers.

Read next: FCA's Five-year report card

In addition, Bosch agreed to hand over USD $103.7million (A$144m) to 50 jurisdictions, according to Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

“A multinational corporate bad actor seriously violated American emissions laws to the detriment of the health and welfare of the people of the United States,” said Jeffrey Bossert Clark, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

“That is a very serious offense.”

Read next: Jeep named in US diesel emissions cheat investigation

During the course of its investigations, the Environmental Protection Agency has reportedly found no fewer than eight auxiliary emissions control devices (AECD) in 2014-2016 Grand Cherokee and RAM 1500 models fitted with the VM Motori-sourced engine.

These software elements either shut down or seriously handicapped the engine’s emissions reduction.

In addition to the fines levied against it, FCA will also have to recall offending vehicles.

Read next: 2018 Jeep Cherokee Review

The owners of over 100,000 diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models with 3.0-litre EcoDiesel V6 engines will be required to have the emissions control software of their vehicles updated.

The work will be carried out for free, owners will receive, on average, USD$2800 (A$3900) per vehicle and extended warranty arrangements, and the company will be additionally fined should the recall not update at least 85 percent of affected vehicles in two years.

Fiat Chrysler claims that it "did not engage in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat emissions tests", and its settlements "contain no finding or admission with regard to any alleged violations of vehicle emissions rules".