Dieselgate: Fiat Chrysler agrees to pay $300 million penalty for anti-pollution fraud

Dieselgate: Fiat Chrysler agrees to pay $300 million penalty for anti-pollution fraud

The Fiat Chrysler U.S. car manufacturer, now part of the Stellantis group, has pleaded guilty in the United States to misleading the public on its anti-pollution systems and has agreed to pay out US$300 million dollars, Belga News Agency reports.

The Justice Department had accused the group of misleading U.S. regulators and consumers by making false or misleading statements on the emission control systems of over 100,000 Jeep and Ram vehicles, and also on the vehicles’ gas consumption, emissions and compliance with U.S. emission standards.

Fiat Chrysler has agreed to pay a fine of 96 million dollars and reimburse 204 million dollars in profits generated by the fraud.

“Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the department’s dedication to prosecuting all types of corporate malfeasance and holding accountable companies that seek to place profits above candor, good corporate governance and timely remediation,” U.S. Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite said in a statement.

FCA US had already agreed in 2019 to pay out up to 515 million dollars to various U.S. authorities in the same case, and to recall the affected vehicles to make them compliant with clean-air standards. However, that settlement did not affect the pursuit of the criminal proceedings.

The FCA US affair is a follow-up to the Dieselgate scandal sparked by German car manufacturer Volkswagen when it admitted in 2015 that it had equipped 11 million of its diesel vehicles with software allowing them to cheat anti-pollution tests.

Stellantis said in a statement that it had already earmarked about 300 million dollars in its 2021 accounts for the case against FCA US.

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