The Justice Department has offered to settle lawsuits filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over diesel emission violations. The settlement allegedly includes provisions that the company recall 104,000 vehicles and pay substantial civil penalties.
Specifically the settlement would require FCA to recall all 2014-16 vehicles it produced with the company’s 3.0-liter diesel V-6, which would include Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Additionally, FCA will be required to engage in activities that counter the past pollution caused by the emissions of its diesel vehicles. Details surrounding said activities or the amount of civil penalties FCA may be required to pay are still unknown.
The settlement offer was just presented to FCA lawyers last week according to a Bloomberg report.
Last January the EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) opened an investigation into FCA’s 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engine. The investigation ultimately suggested FCA was using software within its emission system that caused the engine to emit emissions above those allowed by the Clean Air Act.
FCA has feverishly declined any wrongdoing in the case.
The company’s 2017 models equipped with the 3.0-liter diesel were recently approved for sale by the EPA and CARB. The 2017 models feature new software that FCA says can be put on the 2014-16 models to satisfy emissions requirements. It is assumed this new software would be the fix in the required recall.
According to analysts, FCA could face a civil penalty ranging from $460 million to $1 billion. This fine would be in addition to the cost of the required recall and pollution mitigation efforts required within the settlement.