Rutledge Reaches Settlement for Illegal Diesel Emissions
Arkansas to receive more than $1.5 million in settlements with Fiat Chrysler and Bosch
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached two settlements in the form of consent judgments requiring Fiat Chrysler and auto supplier Bosch to pay a total of $171.2 million nationwide for their roles in selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed defeat device software.
“Fiat Chrysler is being held accountable for cheating on emissions testing, and Bosch is answering for its role in providing the software,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I will continue to hold automobile makers and their suppliers accountable for wrongful and deceptive conduct.”
Following a nearly two-year investigation, Rutledge, with 51 jurisdictions nationwide, filed suit against Fiat Chrysler and its subsidiaries, for having installed unlawful defeat device software and undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices in several models of its diesel vehicles. The attorneys general found that Fiat Chrysler cheated on federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the software to conceal that vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides in real-world driving conditions, and misled consumers by falsely claiming some vehicles were environmentally friendly.
After a separate but related investigation, Rutledge, along with 49 other jurisdictions, filed suit against Bosch which is the engineering company that supplies Fiat Chrysler and other automobile manufacturers with electronic control units housing the complex software that controls nearly all aspects of an engine’s performance, including emissions systems. The investigation concluded that Bosch facilitated the implementation of the defeat device software in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles over a period of more than 10 years.
Under the terms of the two settlements, Fiat Chrysler will pay a total of $72.5 million to the litigating jurisdictions for consumer and environmental violations, with Arkansas receiving $763,750. Bosch will pay $98.7 million, with $737,100 for Arkansas.
The settlement requires Fiat Chrysler to eliminate the defeat device features through a software “flash fix”; provide eligible owners and lessors extended warranties; and, together with co-defendant Bosch, pay eligible owners who take their vehicle to an authorized dealer for the software repair an average restitution payment of approximately $2,908 and lessees and former owners who do so restitution of $990. Fiat Chrysler is also prohibited from engaging in future unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection to its dealings with consumers.
Bosch has also agreed to injunctive terms and to maintain robust processes to monitor compliance and must refuse to accommodate requests for software development and programming that could result in the installation of defeat device software.
Rutledge reached a settlement with Volkswagen in 2016 on similar allegations.