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FCA to pay $800M to settle diesel emissions scandal

by Justin King

The company is accused of using illegal software to trick emissions compliance tests.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has reportedly agreed to pay nearly $800 million to settle Department of Justice charges focused on the company's diesel emissions software.

The Environmental Protection Agency in 2017 accused the automaker of improperly employing software controls to circumvent emissions regulations in the EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The DoJ settlement is said to allocate $400 million for civil penalties and another $400 million for customer compensation programs and extended warranties.

"The settlements do not change the Company's position that it did not engage in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat emissions tests," FCA said in a statement. "Further, the consent decree and settlement agreements contain no finding or admission with regard to any alleged violations of vehicle emissions rules."

The company will launch an emissions recall and update software in an estimated 100,000 vehicles. In what appears to be a carefully worded statement, the software tweaks will not affect "average fuel economy, drivability, durability or refinement" of the vehicles. Noticeably absent is a promise that the software revisions will not negatively impact power output.

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