24 May, 2017
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) responded to the Department of Justice's decision to file a lawsuit against the vehicle maker over its emission cheating scandal, saying that it is "disappointed" in the government's decision.
The DOJ filing follows a January 2017 issuance of a Notice of Violation by the EPA against the automaker that cited the 2014-16 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models as possessing undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices that permit these vehicle to emit higher-than-certified nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels.
That ultimately snowballed into a global scandal that has cost VW Group more than $20 billion and ended the development of new diesel vehicles from Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche for the USA market.
The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against FCA US LLC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., V.M. Motori S.p.A., and V.M. North America, Inc.
Fiat Chrysler shares rose as much as 4.3 percent in Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, but ended virtually unchanged from Thursday's close.
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FCA US expects that following EPA and CARB approval, owners of the 2014-2016 MY vehicles will be able to receive the software updates at their dealerships.
The company is the product of the merger of businesses founded by two historic automobile dynasties: Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), founded in 1899 by the Agnelli family, and Chrysler, founded in 1925 by US automobile innovator Walter P. Chrysler.
Last year, the government accused Volkswagen of cheating on tests, and the company ended up pleading guilty to criminal charges in a scandal that cost VW more than $20 billion in the USA alone. Reuters reported last week the Justice Department and EPA have obtained internal emails and other documents written in Italian that look at engine development and emissions issues that raise significant questions. The company plans to update software which it expects will resolve the concerns of United States regulators about excess emissions in those vehicles.
The company issued a statement saying it "is now reviewing the complaint, but is disappointed" that the suit had been filed. The Justice Department has asked its suit be transferred to the same court.
The complaint said Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) used software known as a "defeat device" to cheat on the engine emissions tests.