In its annual report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles disclosed the company has received multiple probes regarding diesel emissions. The probes are specifically in relation to allegations that the company utilized software to “cheat” emission testing on its 3.0-liter diesel V-6.
The company states in its filing, “[FCA has] received various inquiries, subpoenas and requests for information from a number of governmental authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the SEC and several states’ attorneys general. We are investigating these matters and we intend to cooperate with all valid governmental requests.”
Most of the inquiries come as no surprise. Sources familiar with the matter report to Automotive News that the Department of Justice has been involved in the matter for over six months. Allegedly the DOJ became involved after an inquiry from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is the agency responsible for certifying emissions.
News of inquiries from the SEC and state attorneys general are new revelations in the matter, but unsurprising.
FCA goes on to assert that the company cannot predict the outcome of the allegations, but that “the resolution of these matters could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows and may adversely affect our reputation with consumers, which may negatively impact demand for our vehicles.”
Such strong disclosure language is typical of SEC filings are are intended to provide shareholders with the clearest possible image of situations that could negatively impact the company’s financial results.
In January the EPA issued a notice of violation to FCA regarding the company’s 2014-16 3.0-liter diesel equipped products for emissions cheating. FCA has denied the allegations and says it is cooperating with the agency to address the matter, potentially through a software update.
The company is also facing inquiries in Europe over its diesel engine emissions.