Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has agreed to settle lawsuits worth almost $650 million over charges that diesel vehicles sold in the United States were capable of violating emissions rules, according to reports.
Talks begun back in 2017 between FCA and the Department of Justice, which sued the firm after an Environmental Protection Agency report found it had used illegal software able to turn off emission control systems under certain driving situations.
The system, similar in concept to what Volkswagen admitted to using back in 2015, is alleged to allow the vehicle to pass emissions tests before releasing higher levels of CO2 and particulate emissions in normal driving. Around 104,000 diesel cars and trucks, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, manufactured since 2014 will be recalled in the US for installation of new software.
An FCA source claims no hardware changes are needed, and the vehicle won’t consume more fuel once it’s been fixed. After the recall, FCA will reportedly pay owners an average of $2,500 in compensation - which could total more than $250 million.
Since the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal first broke cover in late 2015, FCA has been mentioned frequently as having also used cheat devices. It was accused of having dodged the proper emissions tests in Italy, despite the company always maintaining that this wasn’t the case.