SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal judge on Friday granted final approval of a $307.5 million deal to settle class action claims that Fiat Chrysler sold more than 100,000 vehicles tainted with emissions-cheating software to U.S. consumers.
As part of the deal approvedin the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Fiat Chrysler will pay up to $307.5 million to more than 100,000 consumers who bought or leased Ram 1500s and Jeep Grand Cherokees with EcoDiesel engines. The company will also provide consumers extended warranty benefits worth up to $239.5 million.
“We believe the settlement is good for consumers. It’s good for the environment, and we believe it’s good for the company,” said Fiat Chrysler attorney Robert Giuffra, of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York. “We’re glad to put this behind the company.”
Each vehicle owner will receive $2,460 to $3,075, depending on whether there were multiple owners of the vehicle. Former owners, lease holders and former lease holders will receive $990 each.
Fiat Chrysler also agreed to pay $311 million in penalties to the U.S. government and $19 million to fund air pollution mitigation in California.
The company must fix all affected vehicles within two years so they no longer spew excess nitrogen oxide on the roads. If it fails to do so, the company must pay additional fines to the federal government.
Under the terms of the deal, the Italian-American carmaker admitted no wrongdoing.
U.S. District Judge Edward Chen also approved plaintiffs’ request for $66 million in attorney fees and costs.
The plaintiffs’ steering committee is headed by Elizabeth J. Cabraser of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein in San Francisco.
An estimated 137,000 class members can file claims for the next two years at www.ecodieselsettlement.com.
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