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Justice Department Seeks Major Fines, Recalls in Fiat Diesel Settlement

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Feb. 6, 2018—The U.S. Justice Department has offered to settle its emissions-cheating lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler if the automaker recalls 104,000 vehicles and pays an unspecified civil penalty, according to Bloomberg News.

The proposed framework of an offer was extended to the Italian-American car company last week and included steps it would have to take to mitigate its past pollution and make internal changes to prevent future violations of environmental rules, according to a copy of the settlement offer obtained by Bloomberg News.

The settlement “must include very substantial civil penalties” large enough to deter future violations and that “adequately reflect the seriousness of the conduct that led to these violations,” Justice Department lawyers wrote in a Jan. 27 letter to Fiat Chrysler attorneys.

A recall would have to bring all of Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles into full compliance with emissions standards, the letter said. The case involves diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups from model years 2014-2016 that regulators allege were sold with emission software that violated U.S. clean-air rules.

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