100,000 diesel-powered Jeep and Ram vehicles involved in emissions’ probe.
Plea deal negotiations are coming to a close.
FCA, now part of Stellantis, has been in hot water on a number of occasions in the recent past. Last March, they admitted to conspiring to make illegal payments to union officials. The main issue however has been emissions fraud dating back to 2015 involving diesel-powered vehicles in FCA’s U.S. lineup.
The affected vehicles, namely Ram and Jeep vehicles powered by the brand’s EcoDiesel engines, from the 2014-2016 model years. The situation mimics the most famous emissions scandal perpetrated by Volkswagen with their diesel engines. The criminal case against the German automaker will serve as a guideline in the case against FCA.
According to Reuters, the “indictment alleges the employees conspired to install illegal software known as defeat devices in vehicles so they could dupe government emissions tests and then pollute beyond legal limits on roadways.”
A plea agreement between FCA lawyers and U.S. Justice Department officials could see financial penalties totaling between $250 million and $300 million be levied against the automaker. Meanwhile, at least one employee will face trial next year based on charges that he purposefully misled regulators.
Volkswagen did finally agree to pay $2.8 billion and billions more to resolve Justice Department civil allegations. FCA/Stellantis’ $300 million fees would be on top of a roughly $800 million civil litigation settlement made in early 2019.