As reported by Law 360, after significant delays in the settlement process, a California federal judge has ordered Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the U.S. Department of Justice to meet face-to-face with a court appointed Settlement Master in order to reach an agreement to end the government’s suit over the automaker’s excessive diesel vehicle emissions.

U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen signed an order November 28th telling both parties “fully to cooperate and communicate” with the Settlement Master so as to resolve the multidistrict lawsuit, in which the government and a proposed class of consumers allege Fiat Chrysler deceived customers by claiming their vehicles were environmentally friendly while secretly installing software that enabled their 3-liter EcoDiesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks to cheat at passing federal emissions tests, only to release significantly higher levels of toxic pollutants in actual road use.

Fiat Chrysler has also challenged the RICO claims made on behalf of the consumers, arguing that only entities like the Environmental Protection Agency are entitled to RICO relief, while consumers argue they suffered a direct loss from the emissions scandal, claiming they overpaid $3,120 to $5,000 for the cars.

Lead Counsel for the plaintiffs, Lieff Cabraser partner Elizabeth Cabraser, told Law360 that they are pleased with and appreciate Judge Chen’s order.

Read the full article here.

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