Stellantis Sentenced for Cheating Diesel Emissions in Jeeps and Rams

The company will pay $300 million in criminal charges, in addition to an earlier $500 million in civil penalties and class-action owner compensation.

On Monday, the American arm of the company — what used to be FCA US — was finally sentenced for conspiracy to defraud the United States, commit wire fraud and violate the Clean Air Act. From Reuters:

The company had been charged with making false representations about diesel emissions in more than 100,000 U.S. 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles.

The Justice Department said FCA had conspired to cheat U.S. emissions tests.

The $300 million criminal penalty “is the result of an exhaustive three-year investigation,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim. “This resolution shows that the Department of Justice is committed to holding corporate wrongdoers accountable for misleading regulators.”

The government noted FCA US had previously paid a $311 million civil penalty and more $183 million in compensation to over 63,000 people as part of a class-action diesel lawsuit.

The automaker must conduct an initial review of its compliance with the Clean Air Act and inspection and testing procedures, submit a report and prepare at least two follow-up reports. Reuters first reported the planned settlement in May.

The Justice Department said FCA US installed deceptive software features intended to avoid regulatory scrutiny and fraudulently help the diesel vehicles meet required emissions standards.

Additionally, three FCA employees — Sergio Pasini, Gianluca Sabbioni and Emanuele Palma — will be tried for the same charges. A Stellantis spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that claims “related to the subject vehicles have already been resolved,” and there are no outstanding recalls. Just over 100,000 vehicles, from model years 2014 to 2016, were involved in this investigation.