Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is set to pay out $800 million to settle a lawsuit brought by federal and state regulators over alleged emissions cheating.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board, FCA used “cheat devices” that allowed the company’s Jeep and Dodge Ram brands to pass nitrogen oxide emissions limits. The devices were discovered after the agency enacted more stringent emissions tests in the wake of Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal in 2015.
The EPA estimates that 100,000 diesel Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 pickups covering the 2014-2016 model years were outfitted with the software. All affected vehicles used the 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 engine. Both vehicles are also the subject of an earlier recall involving a cruise control issue.
As part of the settlement, FCA will shell out $800 million, $500 million of which will go to the federal government and all 50 states. California will receive $78.4 million in penalties, which will be used in the state’s Air Pollution Control Fund.
The rest of the money will be used for vehicle recall and compensation for affected owners. Each owner will receive an average of $2,800, in addition to a software update that will bring make their diesel engine compliant with NOx emissions standards, as well as extended warranty coverage.
However, the settlement precludes FCA from admitting any wrongdoing on its part. In an official statement, the company maintains that it “did not engage in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat emissions tests.”
FCA says eligible owners will be notified when they can schedule a service appointment. The company is currently establishing a logistics process for identifying affected owners, dealer services and compensation.