Cheating the emissions results for more than 100,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pick-ups has cost parent company Stellantis a $US300 million fine.
A guilty plea to the US Federal court on charges of cheating emissions results for Jeep Grand Cherokees four-wheel-drives and Ram 1500 pick-ups built from 2014 to 2016 has cost their parent company Stellantis $US300 million ($AU427m).
Although Stellantis has oversight of Jeep and Ram today, the fine stems from their time under the ownership of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
“The company accepts responsibility and regrets the conduct that resulted in this plea agreement,” Christopher Pardi, general counsel and corporate secretary for FCA in North America, said on behalf of the company during the brief hearing before Judge Nancy Edmunds.
The court hearing, first reported by The Detroit News, relates to cheating on government emissions testing for ‘clean EcoDiesel’ versions of the Jeep and Ram vehicles.
FCA US LLC (the company name) pleaded guilty to the criminal conspiracy charge in June 2022. It was the second guilty plea for Federal criminal conduct in the US by the company in as many years, for actions taken prior to FCA’s merger with the French PSA Group — Peugeot and Citroen — that created the giant Stellantis conglomerate last year.
Earlier this year Stellantis also paid $US678 million ($AU967m) in penalties following an adjustment to Corporate Average Fuel Economy regulations in the USA.
The court penalty covers nearly $US204 million in forfeitures from the models on which it had cheated on the tests and an additional penalty of more than $US96 million.
The company is also subject to three years of probation and is required to co-operate in the U.S. government’s further investigation into the matter.
FCA was not alone in cheating US emissions testing and its settlement comes five years after the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal — involving cheating on nearly 600,000 Volkswagens — that cost the German company $US2.8 billion ($AU4bn) in fines as part of a total bill for penalties, civil damages and restitution it reported as nearly $US35 billion ($AU50bn) in 2020.
Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years, working on newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for motoring led him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racing driver as well as a World Car of the Year judge.