Fiat Chrysler Will Pay $800 Million To Settle Diesel Emissions Lawsuits

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will recall 862,520 gasoline-powered vehicles in the United States because they do not meet emissions standards, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced. The affected vehicles are from model years 2011 to 2016.

The recall is the result of “in-use emissions investigations conducted by the EPA and in-use testing conducted by FCA as required by EPA regulations,” the agency said in a statement. The EPA told Reuters that it will continue to investigate other FCA vehicles, which could lead to additional recalls. FCA did not immediately comment.

Affected vehicles include 2011-2016 Dodge Journeys, 2011-2014 Chrysler 200s and Dodge Avengers, 2011-2012 Dodge Calibers, and 2011-2016 Jeep Compasses and Jeep Patriots models.

Owners can continue driving their vehicles, the EPA said, but owners living in areas with mandatory regular vehicle inspections may be required to have recall work done before having an inspection performed. Owners will be notified by FCA as to when to bring their vehicles into a dealership for the modifications necessary to make them emissions compliant, the EPA said.

Due to the large number of vehicles involved and the need to secure parts, specifically catalytic converters, the recall will be implemented in phases throughout 2019, starting with the oldest vehicles, the EPA said.

This is the second recent major emissions-related issue for FCA. In January, the automaker agreed to pay $800 million to settle claims by the U.S. Department  of Justice and the state of California that it used illegal software in diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests. A criminal investigation into the allegations is ongoing.

Automakers have been under more scrutiny regarding emissions since Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it used illegal software in its diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. As part of a settlement, VW eventually agreed to buy back many noncompliant cars and modify others to meet emissions standards, as well as pay criminal penalties and invest in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

The revelation of Volkswagen’s emissions cheating had a ripple effect around the world, with government agencies and environmental groups taking a closer look at real-world emissions from a variety of automakers. This has also led to efforts to ensure that the laboratory tests used to confirm compliance with emissions rules more accurately reflect real-world conditions, as well as calls for more real-world testing.

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