The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a notice of violation to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for allegedly cheating on federal emissions standards and contributing to pollution, in violation of the Clean Air Act. At least 104,000 diesel vehicles have allegedly been programmed with secret software that allowed for illegal excess emissions of nitrogen oxides. These vehicles include light-duty model year 2014, 2015, and 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks equipped with 3.0-liter diesel engines sold in the United States.
In an EPA news release Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, stated: “Failing to disclose software that affects emissions in a vehicle’s engine is a serious violation of the law, which can result in harmful pollution in the air we breathe. We continue to investigate the nature and impact of these devices. All automakers must play by the same rules, and we will continue to hold companies accountable that gain an unfair and illegal competitive advantage.”
These allegations towards Fiat Chrysler come after the unprecedented $14.7 billion settlement in the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Violations Litigation, where 475,000 VW and Audi 2.0-liter diesel engine vehicles sold in the U.S. were found to be illegally polluting the environment. The German auto manufacturer publicly admitted in 2015 that it had rigged emissions production in the diesel engines of approximately 11 million vehicles worldwide. Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth J. Cabraser was sole Lead Counsel and Chair of the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in this historic consumer fraud lawsuit – marked as one of the largest automotive settlements in U.S. history.
According to USA Today, “Unlike VW, the EPA has not yet ordered Fiat Chrysler to halt sales of diesel vehicles accused of violations.” However, the EPA is currently investigating the automaker’s violations, which could lead to the company being held liable for civil penalties and injunctive relief.
“Once again, a major automaker made the nosiness decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” California Air Resources Board Chair Mary D. Nichols said in a statement, reported CNBC. “CARB and U.S. EPA made a commitment to enhanced testing as the Volkswagen case developed, and this is a result of that collaboration.”
Contact a National Consumer Protection Attorney
If you own or lease a 2014-2016 diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee or Dodge Ram, your vehicle is emitting illegal levels of dangerous pollutants. You may be entitled to a buyback or other reimbursement. You are encouraged to contact a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser through the case page or you may call us toll-free at 1 800 541-7358 for more information.
We welcome the opportunity to learn of your experiences with the vehicle and answer your questions. We will review your claim for free, confidentially, and with no obligation on your part. The information you provide will help us hold Fiat Chrysler accountable for their alleged violations of environmental protection laws and any deceptions perpetrated upon their customers.