Skip to main content

Stellantis Unit FCA Reaches Plea Deal in U.S. Emissions Probe

Published May 25, 2022

Author

Image
Reuters logo

Reuters

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. business of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has agreed to plead guilty to criminal conduct and pay roughly $300 million in penalties to resolve a multi-year emissions fraud probe surrounding vehicles with diesel engines, people familiar with the matter said.

FCA US LLC, now part of Stellantis NV, has agreed to plead guilty to a criminal conspiracy charge arising from its efforts to evade emissions requirements for more than 100,000 older Ram pickup trucks and Jeep sport-utility vehicles in its U.S. lineup, the people said.

The plea deal, negotiated with U.S. Justice Department officials, is set to be unveiled as soon as next week, though the timing could slip. The company would then enter its guilty plea during a subsequent hearing in a U.S. district court.

The affected diesel-powered vehicles span model years 2014 to 2016. FCA merged with French Peugeot maker PSA in 2021 to form Stellantis.

Stellantis and the Justice Department declined to comment.

The plea deal comes five years after Volkswagen AG pleaded guilty to criminal charges to resolve its own emissions crisis affecting nearly 600,000 vehicles in a scandal that became known as "Dieselgate."

Volkswagen's deception precipitated additional scrutiny that resulted in officials on both sides of the Atlantic cracking down on automakers accused of using illegal software known as defeat devices to dupe government emissions tests.

The views and opinions expressed in this story are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NADA.