— A $300 million Chrysler EcoDiesel agreement has been reached between Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and the U.S. government after regulators accused the automaker of making false and misleading statements about 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles.
The government says FCA made misleading representations about the design and functions of the EcoDiesel emissions control systems on more than 100,000 vehicles that were not in compliance with emissions standards.
Chrysler marketed the 3-liter Jeep and Ram vehicles as having "best-in-class fuel efficiency as measured by EPA testing, and were equipped with 'clean EcoDiesel engine[s]' that reduced emissions."
But the U.S. Justice Department says FCA engaged in a multiyear scheme to mislead customers and regulators.
The EcoDiesel vehicles were allegedly equipped with software to ensure the Rams and Jeeps met federal emissions standards when in reality they didn't.
According to regulators, FCA calibrated the emissions control systems to produce less nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions during the federal test procedures than when the EcoDiesel vehicles were being driven by customers.
"Because FCA US knew that the decision to calibrate the emissions control system used on the Subject Vehicles to perform differently “on cycle” versus “off cycle” would be subjected to significant scrutiny by U.S. regulators, FCA US made false and misleading representations to regulators to ensure that it obtained regulatory approval to sell the Subject Vehicles in the United States." — U.S. Justice Department
FCA released a statement which said if the agreement is granted approval by a federal court, the automaker will pay a fine of $96.1 million and forfeit $203.6 million in gains related to the EcoDiesel vehicles.
Chrysler further says no additional EcoDiesel V6 engine recalls are required and all customer claims have been resolved.
In addition to the $300 million EcoDiesel agreement, three FCA employees were indicted for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and for six counts of violating the Clean Air Act. Emanuele Palma, Sergio Pasini and Gianluca Sabbioni await trial.