U.S. Government Sues Fiat Chrysler for Emissions Fraud

By Paul Riegler on 23 May 2017
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The U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Tuesday, accusing the automaker of using software to enable over 100,000 diesel-powered automobiles to pass emissions tests.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, says that the automaker built and sold 104,000 vehicles powered by diesel engines since 2014 that violated the U.S. Clean Air Act by using a so-called defeat device. The suit could result in billions of dollars in penalties.

In January, the Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler of using “undisclosed” software that allowed a number of its vehicles to exceed emissions standards in the United States.

Fiat Chrysler issued a statement saying it would vigorously defend itself against claims that “it engaged in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat U.S. emissions tests.”

The claim mirrors one made against Volkswagen in the so-called Dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen eventually admitted to intentionally software that would fool emissions testing systems.

In September of last year a Volkswagen engineer pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud buyers of VW diesels as well as federal regulators in the first criminal charges stemming from the U.S. investigation into the German carmaker’s emissions deception known as Dieselgate.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)