Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay up to $ 515 million to various US authorities who accused it of having equipped more than 100,000 vehicles with software designed to falsify their pollutant emissions, announced Thursday the US Department of Justice .
The Italian-American carmaker has also agreed to recall these cars to bring them up to standard in order to settle the lawsuits, it says in a statement.
Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler and German automotive supplier Bosch have also reached an agreement to file a class action suit with plaintiffs whose cars are concerned.
They will pay them up to $ 300 million in compensation, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said. These complainants will individually receive amounts ranging from $ 990 to $ 3075, is it detailed.
"The agreement found today does not solve any potential criminal liability. It also does not solve any claim of consumers or owners of vehicles (concerned) or rental companies, "however warns the US Department.
US authorities, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a complaint against the group in 2017, accusing it of using software that distorts the actual level of pollutant emissions during testing and have not informed the authorities during the approval process.
According to the EPA, this sleight of hand allowed vehicles equipped with the software in question to release into the air an increased level of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a gas held responsible for many respiratory diseases.
Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler at the time, had vigorously defended the group, assuring that the builder should have "been more transparent" but refuting any special effects.
"Fiat Chrysler has deceived consumers and the federal government by installing fuzzy software in vehicles to undermine important air protections," says Andrew Wheeler, the EPA official, on Thursday. DoJ.
Fiat Chrysler should absorb these fines without much trouble because it had to provision 713 million euros (822 million dollars) in its accounts in the third quarter of 2018 in anticipation of this litigation.
The cars concerned are SUVs Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram pickups, 2014 to 2016 models.
In detail, Fiat Chrysler will pay $ 490 million to federal authorities, $ 19 million to reduce the emissions of 13,000 vehicles that do not meet California standards and $ 6 million to US Customs who accused it of importing "illegally" 1700 cars not in accordance with standards.