Stellantis is the latest company to get caught cheating on diesel emissions, and now it’s being forced to pay up. The Detroit News reports. According to a criminal information filing, Stellantis is pleading guilty to a suit claiming that FCA committed a conspiracy to defraud the United States in violation of the Clean Air Act, and will pay have to pay nearly $204 million. A Reuters article published last week said the group could face up to $300 million in penalties.
Federal regulators say the automaker allegedly didn’t disclose at least eight auxiliary emission control devices on 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel-powered Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs from 2014 to 2016. In some cases, emissions devices are permitted to be disabled, but the automaker must disclose that information to regulators.
A Diesel Senior Manager and two Italian nationals for FCA Italy SpA are accused of conspiring to cheat federal emissions tests, as well as deceive consumers about the fuel efficiency of the brand’s models. Since FCA merged with PSA to create Stellantis, the entire conglomerate is now on the hook for the money.
In 2019, the brand settled civil, environmental, and consumer claims regarding diesel emission violations resulting in a hefty fine of $800 million, but those allegations didn’t require the brand to admit any guilt.
In January 2021, Stellantis also paid a $30 million fine to settle a criminal investigation into executives at the company, which led to more than a dozen convictions. In that suit, employees were found to break federal labor laws, steal union funds, and receive bribes and illegal benefits from union contractors and FCA executives.
The 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine that is available in the Ram 1500, Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Gladiator has since seen extensive revisions to make it federally complaint. A 2WD Ram 1500 EcoDiesel V6 can achieve an EPA-estimated 32 mpg highway, while the Jeeps come in just under 30 mpg.