NYSE: FCAU – US authorities have launched charges against Fiat Chrysler on charges of unauthorized installation of software that distorts the actual level of pollutant emissions from diesel vehicles during checks and reminds the German Volkswagen scandal.
This software allowed these 3-liter displacement vehicles to meet pollution standards during emissions testing but to exceed them once on the roads, according to a statement the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , Which calls for civil penalties and compensation for affected clients.
However, an amicable agreement is not excluded and negotiations are continuing with the car manufacturer, the EPA said, adding that the nature and timing of a possible settlement were “uncertain”.
The Italian-American carmaker said he was “disappointed” and said he was investigating the complaint.
“The group intends to defend itself vigorously, especially against any claim that it would have deliberately set up a system to install faulty software (in its vehicles) in order to distort US emissions testing,” said Fiat Chrysler, adding Be always determined to achieve “speedy” agreement with the regulators.
The charge in their complaint does not mean that the US authorities accuse Fiat Chrysler of having intended to deceive consumers as was the case for Volkswagen, told AFP sources close to the file .
The Italian-American carmaker would have only said to indicate to the American authorities the presence of such software on the vehicles concerned.
The European Union is also investigating
Until last Friday, Fiat Chrysler still hoped to prevent the dispute from moving on to the judicial field, after obtaining the green light from the EPA and the California environmental agency (Carb) to install A software similar, according to him, to those implicated by the Department of Justice (DoJ).
It was the department that filed the complaint on behalf of the EPA in a Michigan court but asked that it be moved to California, a stricter state of environmental regulation.
US authorities suspect Fiat Chrysler of violating air pollution laws by concealing the existence of software that equips 104,000 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vans, models 2014-2016.
“Each of these vehicles differs materially from the specifics provided to the EPA during the certification process,” said the federal agency, adding: “To summarize … these vehicles contained deceptive software.”
Vehicles equipped with these emission aids, according to the EPA, reject a significant level of nitrogen oxide (NOx), a gas held responsible for many respiratory diseases.
Fiat Chrysler, and more specifically FCA US, its US subsidiary, incurs civil penalties of up to $ 4.6 billion.
Case of Volkswagen
This case recalls the case of the German group Volkswagen, accused of having installed on its diesel vehicles software to defraud the homologation tests. It recently ended US prosecutions in exchange for a $ 2.8 billion fine.
In total, the world’s largest carmaker agreed to pay $ 23 billion to the United States, in particular to compensate some 600,000 motorists and repair the damage to the environment.
In addition to the United States, Fiat Chrysler may also experience setbacks in Europe as the European Commission has just opened infringement proceedings against Italy for infringement of the rules on approval.
The European Union accuses Rome of not being sufficiently assured of the conformity of its vehicles.