Stellantis Hit With $300 Million Fine for Diesel Emissions Cheating
Stellantis has a hefty bill to pay after being caught cheating on emissions standards.
The company in June pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy charges over alleged diesel emission cheating involving Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups. Two months later, a federal judge signed off on a plan for Stellantis to pay $300 million to resolve the case.
“Today’s sentence is an appropriate punishment for a company that schemed to defraud regulators and consumers,” Detroit U.S. Attorney Dawn N. Ison said in a statement announcing the sentencing. “All corporations should be transparent and honest in dealing with the federal government and the public.”
Stellantis agreed to pay more than $96 million and forfeit another $204 million. A Stellantis subsidiary - FCA US - also agreed to a three-year organizational probation.
Prosecutors said the company made false representations about diesel emissions in more than 100,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles from model years 2014 to 2016. Specifically, the company was said to have installed deceptive software features to help the diesel vehicles appear like they were meeting required emissions standards.
Stellantis is not the only automaker nabbed in emissions cheating scandals. Volkswagen five years ago agreed to pay $25 billion to resolve claims the company deliberately misrepresenting emissions information about diesel vehicles.
How to Hold Carmakers Accountable
If major car manufacturers like Stellantis and Volkswagen are lying to federal regulators, can we still assume that they are being truthful to car buyers and owners?
The Stellantis case comes to a close as the company still struggles to ensure that its vehicles are safe to drive. Like other automakers, the company frequently recalls slews of cars over a wide range of serious defects that put people’s safety at risk. The recalls often come long after cars have been sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Earlier this year, for example, the company told nearly 20,000 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivan owners not to charge their cars because of fire risks stemming from a defect. Last year, Stellantis called back half-a-million Ram pickup trucks because of a wheel defect that it told federal regulators increased the risk of a crash
California car owners: you do not need to wait for a vehicle to be recalled in order to get defects and malfunctions fixed. The state’s lemon law offers some valuable rights and protections.
The law requires car manufacturers to perform various repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also forces the companies to buy back vehicles that they are unable or unwilling to fix. That includes compensating the owner for the purchase price, financing fees and other related expenses.
Speak with a Lemon Law Attorney
If you are locked in a dispute with a car manufacturer over a malfunctioning or defective vehicle, an Los Angeles lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
We have successfully assisted car owners across the state. Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer at our firm today.