Settlement Announced in Fiat Chrysler Diesel Emissions Fraud Case
On January 10, 2019, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV agreed to pay up to $884 million to settle claims that it illegally equipped diesel fuel-powered vehicles with software that enabled them to cheat emissions standards. Parts maker Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to settle its part in the litigation of creating the “defeat devices” with payments of up to $131 million. Under the proposed settlement, Fiat Chrysler will pay a $305 million civil penalty that will be divided between the federal government and California to settle claims FCA violated the Clean Air Act. The company will also recall the vehicles and fix the emission problems; that program could cost FCA another $185 million. FCA also settled with the consumers who filed a class action suit over the alleged emissions fraud in an agreement that could reach $280 million.
“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,” Elizabeth Cabraser, lead counsel and chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the class litigation.
Background on the Case
In January 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accused Fiat Chrysler of using secret software to allow excess emissions in violation of the law for at least 104,000 diesel vehicles. The affected models include Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3-liter diesel engines sold in the United States from late 2013 through 2016 (model years 2014, 2015, and 2016).
On March 15, 2018, Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California issued an order substantially supporting plaintiffs’ complaint against Fiat Chrysler’s attempts to have the suit dismissed, and directing the litigation to move forward. Read a copy of Judge Chen’s Order.
On June 19, 2017, Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California named Lieff Cabraser founding partner Elizabeth Cabraser as Lead Counsel for Plaintiffs and Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in litigation against Fiat Chrysler brought by Jeep and Dodge owners over allegations the company bypassed diesel emission controls in nearly one hundred thousand vehicles. Ms. Cabraser also served in the same role in the recently-concluded case against Volkswagen for similar emissions violations in Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler Diesel Pollution Fraud
As reported by numerous news sources, the software’s usage produced excess nitrogen oxide emissions, with direct harmful effects on public health. EPA spokesperson Cynthia Giles noted, “This is a clear and serious violation of the Clean Air Act. There is no doubt [Fiat Chrysler] are contributing to illegal pollution.”
Contact Lieff Cabraser
If you purchased or leased one of the affected Jeep or Dodge vehicles, you are encouraged to contact a consumer protection lawyer at Lieff Cabraser. 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.