Fiat Chrysler Can Look Forward to a Big Summer Eco Payout

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

When Fiat Chrysler Automobiles regails the class with a “how I spend my summer” story this fall, expect some mention of handing over large sums of money to state and federal governments.

The U.S. Department of Justice and California Air Resources Board want the automaker to make things right after accusing it of polluting the nation’s air via its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engines. Some 104,000 Jeep and Ram vehicles from the 2014 to 2016 model years contained emissions control devices not revealed to the Environmental Protection Agency, which came down hard on the automaker after their discovery. According to FCA’s lawyer, the settlement could come this summer.

What does the DOJ want? According to an earlier settlement offer sent to the automaker, the levelling of “very substantial civil penalties” is the only way to ensure FCA learns its lesson.

At a federal court hearing in San Francisco on Tuesday, FCA lawyer Robert Giuffra said settlement documents were being exchanged between lawyers of both parties. Expect a settlement between FCA and the DOJ “probably sometime during the summer,” he told Reuters.

Talks between the two parties are reportedly progressing at a “swift pace.” That’s the way court-appointed advisor Ken Feinberg describes it, anyway.

So far, neither the DOJ or CARB have mentioned just how much penalty cash FCA might be on the hook for. While the vehicles in question await a fix designed to bring the engines into compliance, any civil payout would have to be accompanied by environmental mitigation efforts — no unlike those seen in the Volkswagen diesel settlement. Just fixing the older vehicles and ensuring new ones remain clean will not be enough. (The EPA gave 2017 Ram and Jeep EcoDiesels the green light back in July.)

FCA never admitted to any wrongdoing in the EcoDiesel saga.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • 28-Cars-Later "Naturally, GM turned to its most tech-forward engineering team to work on the [Cadillac] Northstar: Oldsmobile."The most GM phrase I have seen yet.
  • Carson D The automotive equivalent of necrophilia appeals to people who have no redeeming social value.
  • Funky D These cars appeal to such different clienteles that it is completely comparing apples to oranges. I would go for the Mustang, especially in convertible form, but wouldn't mind at all a weekend behind the wheel of a Z.
  • Funky D Take it from an IT professional: ALWAYS have a backup plan! And then have a backup to that plan if possible. And always rehearse the plan every once in awhile.Always keep local copies of your data, or you don't really have a backup. My current company is working on revising our plan now, while we still have the opportunity.
  • 28-Cars-Later [list=1][*]"Nissan is trying to incorporate elements of past Z Cars to create an automotive amalgam. This includes going back to using a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6 engine. "[/*][*]"Ford has similarly opted to keep around the 5.0-liter V8."[/*][*]"The Ford benefits from having port and direct injection, while the Nissan only uses direct."[/*][/list=1]This isn't even a contest.
Next