WASHINGTON – The US unit of Stelantis, the former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to criminal conspiracy in June and will pay nearly $300 million to solve the US Justice Department’s diesel-emissions fraud investigation .
FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, previously had a plea agreement with the Justice Department and agreed to pay a $96.1 million fine and a $203.6 million fine. FCA US was also sentenced to a three-year term of organizational probation.
The company was accused of misrepresenting diesel emissions in more than 100,000 US 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles.
The Justice Department said the FCA had conspired to defraud US emissions tests.
Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim said the $300 million criminal penalty was “the result of an extensive three-year investigation.” “This resolution shows that the Justice Department is committed to holding corporate wrongdoers accountable for misleading regulators.”
The government noted that FCA US had previously paid civil penalties of $311 million and more than $183 million in compensation to more than 63,000 people as part of the class-action diesel lawsuit.
Automakers must conduct a preliminary review of compliance with the Clean Air Act and inspection and testing procedures, submit a report, and produce at least two follow-up reports. Reuters first reported the planned settlement in May.
The Justice Department said that FCA US installed deceptive software features intended to evade regulatory scrutiny and fraudulently help diesel vehicles meet required emissions standards.
Stelantis said it had previously deposited 266 million euros for the settlement. FCA merged with French Peugeot manufacturer PSA in 2021 to form Stellantis.
Three FCA US employees have been indicted for conspiracy to defraud America and violate the Clean Air Act and are awaiting trial.
The plea deal comes five years after Volkswagen pleaded guilty to criminal charges for solving its own emissions crisis, in a scandal that affected nearly 600,000 US vehicles known as “Dieselgate”. . VW has paid out more than $30 billion in connection with the scandal.