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Auto News: Fiat Chrysler, Mercedez-Benz Emissions Cheating

by Hagens Berman


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Fiat Chrysler agrees to potential $800 million settlement over emissions cheating charges

U.S. officials had accused the company of installing software that enables certain diesel trucks to emit far more pollutants than emissions laws allow.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday agreed in a settlement with U.S. regulators and other plaintiffs that could cost the automaker roughly $800 million to resolve allegations that it cheated on emissions tests.

“The Department of Justice is committed to the full and fair enforcement of the laws that protect our nation’s environment,” Jesse Panuccio, principal deputy associate attorney general, said in an announcement of the deal. “Fiat Chrysler broke those laws and this case demonstrates that steep penalties await corporations that engage in such egregious violations.”

Under the terms of the settlement, the automaker agreed to implement a recall program to repair more than 100,000 out-of-compliance pickup tricks and SUVs, offer an extended warranty on those vehicles and pay a civil penalty of $305 million to settle claims of “cheating on emission tests and failing to disclose unlawful defeat devices,” the Justice Department said. Separately, the company agreed to pay certain vehicle owners between $990 and $3,075 each -- an amount that could total more than $300 million -- to settle class-action claims. read more »

Arizona sues Mercedes in suit alleging emissions cheating

The state of Arizona alleges in a lawsuit that Mercedes-Benz violated a state fraud law by programming emission systems on certain models of its diesel vehicles to turn off or reduce their effectiveness while on the road, leaving consumers unaware that the vehicles send an enormous amount of nitrous oxide pollutants into the air.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich also accuses Mercedes-Benz USA and its parent company, Daimler AG, of intentionally concealing the practice from consumers, while at the same time marketing its BlueTEC diesel vehicles as environmentally friendly. read more »