Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Claims Process Begins for FCA ‘EcoDiesel’ Settlement

$307.5M Class Settlement with Fiat Chrysler, Bosch Will Compensate Owners and Lessees, Provide Repairs that Protect Environment while Maintaining Performance and Fuel Economy

Government-approved emissions modifications, substantial cash payments to become available upon settlement approval for approximately 100,000 eligible vehicles; extended warranties to protect long-term reliability and performance

San Francisco, CA—A class action settlement agreement filed today by the consumer plaintiffs in the Fiat Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep (FCA) “EcoDiesel” Litigation will, if approved, provide eligible owners and lessees with substantial cash payments in addition to government-approved emissions modifications and extended warranties. The proposed settlement totaling $307.5 million ($280 million from FCA and $27.5 million from Bosch) was filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of California as part of the multidistrict litigation overseen by Judge Edward M. Chen.

Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0-liter diesel vehicles from model years 2014 to 2016 are covered under the settlement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) will approve emissions modifications that bring these vehicles into compliance with the standards to which they were originally certified, without materially reducing advertised performance or fuel economy.

Upon completion of the repair, which consists of a software change, the class member will receive a cash payment. The amount will vary depending on whether the class member is a current or former owner or lessee. For example, an “Eligible Owner” who owned a subject vehicle on January 12, 2017 (Notice of Violation or NOV date) and completes the repair will receive $3,075. An extended warranty will also be provided that covers all parts and systems affected by the emissions modification.

“By holding FCA and Bosch accountable for their diesel emissions cheating, consumers will now receive the vehicle they were promised plus cash compensation, while protecting our environment,” said Elizabeth Cabraser, Court-appointed Lead Counsel and chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, which negotiated the settlement on behalf of class members. “We look forward to presenting this settlement to the court, and once approved ensuring eligible owners and lessees take advantage of its benefits. We appreciate the guidance provided by Judge Chen, the Settlement Master Kenneth Feinberg, and the efforts of the Department of Justice, EPA, the California Attorney General’s office and CARB.”

Former owners and lessees who sold their vehicle after the NOV date can also file claims to receive a portion of the total cash compensation assigned to the vehicle if it receives the repair. Class members who sell their vehicle after today (the settlement announcement date) will not be eligible for compensation.

Under consent decrees with the DOJ (on behalf of the EPA) and CARB that are intended to be implemented in conjunction with the class action settlement, FCA will pay penalties for violations of the Clean Air Act. It could also face significant additional fines if it does not perform the approved emissions modification on a minimum of 85 percent of eligible vehicles.

The settlement is subject to Court approval; a preliminary approval hearing is scheduled for January 23, 2019. When and if the Court grants preliminary approval, the claims process will open to class members. The Court will hold a final approval hearing approximately three to four months later. Current owners and lessees will have 18 months from the date the Court issues final approval of the class settlement and enters the Consent Decrees (the “Effective Date”) to submit a claim, and two years from the Effective Date to complete the repair and receive compensation. Former owners and lessees will have 90 days from the Effective Date to submit a claim.

Class members will receive more information about the terms of the settlement via mail and email. The full details of the settlement will also be available at www.EcoDieselSettlement.com. Additional information can also be found on the Court website: https://www.cand.uscourts.gov/emc/chryslermdl.