Fiat Chrysler Automobiles may pay as much as an estimated $800 million to address illegal pollution levels in some 100,000 diesel SUVs and pickup trucks sold from the 2014-16 model years. The EPA and Department of Justice announced Thursday a settlement with the automaker that amounts to some $311 million in civil fines plus $185 million to conduct recall repairs and environmental remediation. Pending court approval, owners could also get an average $2,800 per vehicle in a separate settlement that could cost FCA nearly $300 million.
In sum, the EPA alleged in January 2017 that FCA violated the Clean Air Act with emissions software that allowed illegally high levels of nitrogen oxide, a smog-forming pollutant, to emit from the automaker's EcoDiesel V-6 engine. Months later, the Justice Department filed a civil suit.
The settlement will affect owners of two models: the Ram 1500 pickup truck and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, both from the 2014-16 model years with the optional 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. (Jeep and Ram are among FCA's six U.S. brands.)
Thursday's outcome means FCA will pay hundreds of millions in civil fines, commit to corporate oversight and environmental remediation, and recall all affected cars for a free repair. The fix involves a software reflash of the vehicle's engine and transmission computers but no hardware modifications.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth analysis on the outcome, and what it means for you, right here.
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