Fiat Chrysler to pay USD650M over software misuse

NEW YORK (AFP) – Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay nearly USD650 million to resolve litigation over its use of illegal engine-control software on diesel vehicles that produced false results in emissions tests, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The automaker will pay USD305 million in penalties to the federal government and California, which also brought suit, the NYT said, citing two unidentified sources who were briefed on the issue.

It said the agreement is expected to be announced soon.

Fiat Chrysler will also pay an average of USD2,500 to owners of 104,000 diesel-powered Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicles from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 model years.

The NYT said these payments could total more than USD260 million.

Fiat Chrysler will also pay about USD72 million in civil penalties to settle litigation brought by various states, and USD6 million to settle other claims, the newspaper said.

US authorities including the Environmental Protection Agency sued the Italian-US automaker in 2017 alleging it had used illegal software that turned off pollution controls under certain driving conditions.

The EPA said the software enabled the vehicles to pass emissions tests while allowing them to release higher levels of pollutants in normal driving.

The accord does not call for Fiat Chrysler to admit any wrongdoing, the newspaper said.

The Fiat Chrysler probe comes in the wake of the diesel emissions-cheating scandal that rocked Volkswagen.