Press Release

Attorney General Josh Shapiro Announces $8.4 Million Settlement with Fiat Chrysler and Auto Supplier Robert Bosch for Harming Consumers and Undermining Auto Emissions Regulations

January 11, 2019 | Topic: Consumers

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that Fiat Chrysler and auto supplier Robert Bosch have agreed to pay $8,415,879 total to Pennsylvania, and more than $171 million to 52 jurisdictions nationwide, for selling or leasing vehicles that allegedly contained illegal defeat devices which allow vehicles to pass emissions inspections without actually being compliant. Bosch allegedly supplied and helped program the illegal emissions “defeat device” software used by both Fiat Chrysler and Volkswagen in their diesel vehicles.

“Every step we’re taking is to protect Pennsylvanians’ rights to a clean environment and consumers’ rights to fair deals when they buy cars in our Commonwealth,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Pennsylvanians purchased or leased over 2,600 Fiat Chrysler vehicles on the promise they were good for the environment and the opposite was true. This settlement will help deliver justice by making both Fiat Chrysler and Bosch pay up for the real harms caused by its deceptions and illegal pollution and builds on our efforts to deliver a cleaner environment for Pennsylvanians.”

Fiat Chrysler

A nearly two-year multi-state investigation revealed that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., its U.S. subsidiary FCA US, LLC, its Italian affiliate V.M. Motori S.p.A. and V.M. North America, Inc. (collectively, “Fiat Chrysler”) installed unlawful defeat device software and undisclosed Auxiliary Emissions Control Devices (“AECDs”) in Model Year 2014-16 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 diesel vehicles that the automaker sold in Pennsylvania.  The Attorney General’s Office found that Fiat Chrysler cheated on federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the vehicles’ software to conceal that the vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) in real-world driving conditions, and misled consumers by falsely claiming the “Eco-Diesel”-branded Jeep SUVs and Ram 1500 trucks were environmentally friendly and compliant with the law in all 50 states.

The settlements announced today require Fiat Chrysler to:

  • Pay Pennsylvania more than $3.6 million.
  • Will take measures to ensure that they will no longer be in violation of unfair or deceptive acts and practices in connection with its dealings with consumers.

Bosch

Among the products Bosch supplies to its auto manufacturing customers are the electronic control units (“ECUs”) that house the complex software that controls nearly all aspects of an engine’s performance, including emissions systems. When Volkswagen, a Bosch customer, was revealed to have systematically utilized defeat device software in its diesel vehicles in a separate case, the Attorneys General commenced a separate investigation into the role played by Bosch in enabling its customers to potentially violate federal and state emissions regulations.

As a result of this investigation, the Attorneys General concluded that Bosch facilitated the implementation of the defeat device software in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles (including over 26,000 in PA) over a period that spanned more than a decade.  Notwithstanding concerns about the illegal defeat devices raised internally to management, and externally to Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler, the Attorneys General found that Bosch continued to assist these customers as they implemented the defeat devices and concealed their misconduct from regulators and the public.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Bosch will:

  • Pay Pennsylvania more than $4.7 million.
  • Include precedent-setting injunctive terms and maintain robust processes to monitor compliance, and refuse to accommodate requests for software development and programming that could result in the installation of defeat device software.

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