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Fiat Chrysler Accused of Using Defeat Devices

» Posted August 18, 2017Resources | Share This Post

When car dealers are dishonest or release vehicles that do not live up to promises, it is the buyers of those vehicles that suffer.  The Sacramento lemon law protects some car buyers, but it is important to get the right legal advice if there is a problem with a car you purchase, since it can sometimes be difficult to protect your investment when a dealer has done something wrong.

Unfortunately, there are increasingly stories of dealer dishonesty about important vehicle operations and features. Just recently, for example, BBC reported that Fiat Chrysler has been accused of using defeat devices to help the company's cars pass emissions tests even though the vehicles were not actually in compliance with emissions rules.

Fiat Chrysler Sued for Using Defeat Devices

According to BBC, the United States government is suing Fiat Chrysler in connection with the alleged use of defeat devices. According to the allegations made by the BBC, the car company installed emissions control software that allowed the cars to produce a lower level of emissions when the vehicles were being subject to roadworthiness tests than the cars would produce under normal conditions.

The complaint against Fiat Chrysler was filed by the Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the complaint, the U.S. government believes that Fiat Chrysler installed the defeat devices in approximately 104,000 Dodge Ram 1500 vehicles and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. The affected vehicles were reportedly sold within the United States from 2014 through 2016.

Fiat Chrysler is not the first car company to be accused of using special software to trick regulators by trying to make it appear as if its cars had lower emissions levels than they actually did. Volkswagen was also accused of using software designed to make emissions appear lower in order for the company's cars to pass emissions testing. Like in past cases, the lawsuit filed by the government claims that the company's use of the defeat devices was a part of a deliberate scheme to cheat on required emissions tests.

Fiat Chrysler denied the accusations that were made by the U.S. government in the lawsuit filed against the car company. However, the car manufacturer did indicate that it was releasing an update to its emissions software programs that would be installed both onto older vehicles as well as new models. The car company said they believe that the new software will address the concerns of U.S. authorities related to the manner in which emissions software is calibrated in all Fiat Chrysler vehicles.

It remains to be seen whether or not Fiat Chrysler vehicles will be found to have had software programs installed for the purposes of unlawfully violating emissions regulations. Unfortunately, if it turns out the car maker was dishonest and produced products that don't meet minimum basic safety standards, this will create many problems for car owners. 

Those who have purchased vehicles that have any serious issues should make certain they understand their rights, especially if it appears car manufacturers deliberately misled car buyers or regulators. California's lemon laws provide protection to certain car buyers, and those concerned about their vehicles should talk with an experienced Sacramento lemon law attorney to find out about their legal options.


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