The Fiat Chrysler group (FCA) will pay 800 million dollars in the United States to resolve lawsuits over the use of illegal software to hide the emissions of its diesel engines, the company said today.
The agreement will prevent FCA from facing lawsuits filed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice and 50 states, among other public agencies.
FCA has agreed to pay around 400 million in fines to resolve the lawsuits.
In addition, the manufacturer will allocate another 400 million dollars to compensate its customers, expand vehicle warranties and perform environmental mitigation actions to reach an agreement with the affected car owners.
According to the EPA, FCA "installed undeclared software features and trickery devices in around 100,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee with diesel engines of the 2014-2016 models."
EPA added that the software and trickery devices "caused the emission control systems to act, in certain driving conditions, differently and less effectively than in the federal emission tests, which caused the increase of polluting emissions and harmful in the air. "
Separately, the German manufacturer Bosch, which designed the trickery software, will pay $ 27.5 million for its participation in the deception.
FCA said in a statement that it will provide free updated software to some 104,000 affected vehicles and about $ 2,800 to its owners.
The affected vehicles are the Ram 1500 2014-2016 and Jeep Grand Cherokee models equipped with three liter EcoDiesel V6 engines.
Despite the agreement and the payment of 800 million dollars, FCA added that it continues maintaining that "it did not establish a deliberate fraud to install trick devices to cheat in the emissions tests".
However, the Acting Director of EPA, Andrew Wheeler, stated during a press conference that "the use by FCA of devices to avoid emissions controls is a clear violation of the Clean Air Act. the law, they tried to hide their actions ".
The agreement does not cancel the criminal investigation initiated by the US authorities to determine responsibilities in a scandal similar to the one that forced Volkswagen (VW) to pay tens of billions of dollars in compensation.
Mark Chernoby, North American Head of Security and Regulatory Compliance at FCA, stated that "we recognize that this has created uncertainty among our clients and we believe that this resolution will keep their trust in us".