FCA Faces $79 Million Fine Over U.S. Fuel Economy Shortfall

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
fca faces 79 million fine over u s fuel economy shortfall

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is facing a $79 million civil penalty over its inability to adhere to fuel economy requirements in 2017. Considering the automaker was already hit with a $77 million fine for 2016 model year requirements, the announcement is not unexpected. FCA’s domestic lineup is also loaded with large vehicles featuring sizable motors, a status quo it hopes to offset by buying carbon credits from Tesla.

In fact, the company appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach in regard to pursuing greener automobiles. While it continues to maintain its $10 billion commitment through 2022, aimed at delivering more hybrid and electric vehicles, the automaker’s established strategy involves eating whatever penalties it incurs via federal economy requirements or attempting to pay them off in advance.

Frankly, it might be a more cost-effective way to run the company — as it allows the automaker to continue leveraging older models (cough, Dodge). It’s not like people aren’t buying them… though perhaps not in the same numbers FCA originally claimed. The development of electric vehicles also requires quite a bit of cash, with little promise of recouping those funds through sales. Simply paying emission fines could give the company more time to fine-tune its hybrid and electric models while also minimizing the amount of money it has to invest during an uncertain period for the auto industry.

Then again, FCA could be strategizing itself into obsolescence by not pursuing electrification quite so aggressively as some of its rivals. However, plenty of them are also buying emission credits and taking it easier with electrification.

The Department of Transportation’s report came out on Tuesday, noting that Fiat Chrysler had failed to meet the standards set for 2017. While the report has since been taken down (likely temporarily), FCA confirmed it was notified, adding that it has 60 days to respond.

[Image: FCA]

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 18, 2019

    I see the trolls who love to identify with the world's worst people and companies have latched on to FCA. It's laughable because there's no strategy or politics to this situation. Chrysler is exactly the same company it has always been, generation after generation: the also-ran of the Detroit Three, milking obsolete platforms for the last penny, balancing its reputation for cheap interiors and poor reliability with a knack for carving out a niche with fun colors and cheap horsepower, often having good ideas but rarely having the money to develop them properly (behold the brilliant but unreliable Pacifica Hybrid, with its habit of becoming engulfed in flames), and somehow managing to come back from the brink every time through pluck or luck (K-cars, the SUV craze). No strategy here other than making it to next quarter in one piece, long term be damned.

  • Kosmo Kosmo on Oct 18, 2019

    This is simply a $79 million tax.

  • 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
  • Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
  • ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)
  • Slavuta Must be all planned. Increase price of cars, urbanize, 15 minutes cities. Be poor, eat bugs
  • Sid SB Not seen a Core without the performance pack yet. Prefer the more understated look of the Core vs the Circuit, but both are great fun to drive.