NBC News is reporting that Stellantis may finally end its fight over using fraudulently using software to beat emissions tests. The allegations involve 100,000 2014-2016 Ram EcoDiesel trucks and some Jeep diesels. The Ram EcoDiesel was extremely popular, winning all sorts of awards including the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press Truck of the Year in 2015.
According to NBC, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is agreeing to plead guilty and will pay a $300 million fine. In the plea agreement, Chrysler would have to admit that it deliberately tried to evade the emissions requirements. Fiat-Chrysler is now part of Stellantis.
The plea deal was reportedly negotiated with the Justice Department. The details will have to be disclosed on the record in open court, at some point in the future.
Previous Settlements With Other Auto Companies
Other automakers like Volkswagen and Audi have already pleaded guilty in the investigation which was known as Dieselgate. Volkswagen paid a $200 million fine, five years ago. VW admitted that it used “defeat software” to beat the emissions tests on 600,000 vehicles.
VW initiated a buyback program and also fixed some of its VWs, Audis and Porsches. VW agreed to spend up to $10.03 billion to repurchase up to 475,000 2.0-liter vehicles that have the scamware installed. For VW, there was a slight difference in the issues surrounding the 2.0- and 3.0-liter engines. Where the 2.0-liter engines used a “defeat device,” the 3.0-liter engines used an undeclared auxiliary system that rigged the results.
Ram and Jeep did not have to buy back their vehicles, instead in 2019, the federal government announced that the company would give owners a cash payment of up to $3,000 in some cases. Ram and Jeep also had to provide an extended warranty "that covers all parts and systems affected by the emissions modification."
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