Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

After several years of being under investigation, sources close to the matter say Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy and pay a hefty fine to settle accusations that it evaded emissions protocols for its diesel-powered SUVs and trucks. 

The probe reportedly involved over 100,000 Jeep SUVs and RAM trucks in the U.S. that were built between 2014 and 2016. The 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engines installed in the vehicles allegedly used software that the Environmental Protection Agency had not approved. The probe also uncovered that the cars emit higher nitrogen oxides in certain conditions.  

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which merged with PSA Group last year to form Stellantis NV, is expected to shell out a $300 million settlement as part of the guilty plea.

The criminal probe is not Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’s first battle related to the issue, as it also settled claims in civil court in early 2019. The civil settlement totaled around $800 million, which was allocated to customers and various entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, state attorneys general, and Customs and Border Protection.

At least three Fiat Chrysler Automobiles employees are also facing criminal charges for allegations that they held direct involvement in the scheme. Reuters reported they are accused of “conspir[ing] to install defeat devices in vehicles so they could dupe government emissions tests and then pollute beyond legal limits on roadways.”

Despite the civil settlement and expected plea agreement, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has continuously denied intentional wrongdoing. 

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