Dieselgate has left a black mark on the reputation of Volkswagen. In the past few weeks, the company has admitted to criminal charges, settled those charges for $4.3 billion, and had six executives indicted for its emissions scandal. VW stock has been volatile ever since the discovery of its defeat device software, and VW consumers have flooded courts with their grievances. This has made life more difficult for all automakers as scrutiny on diesel emissions have increased, but one company in particular is feeling the heat more than most automakers.
Was Fiat Chrysler Cheating on Emissions Too?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has dropped a bombshell on Fiat Chrysler (FCA). These environment regulators believe they have discovered emissions cheating software in some 104,000 model year 2014, 2015 and 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks and Jeep Grand Cherokees with diesel engines.
This discovery comes as a shock to and auto industry that’s still trying to recover from VW’s Dieselgate. FCA stock tumbled 15 percent when the announcement was made, then rallied to just a 10 percent loss. However—unlike Volkswagen—Fiat Chrysler is sticking to its guns. The chief executive of FCA, Sergio Marchionne, released an angry statement saying that to the best of his knowledge the company has followed EPA regulations.
Just How Bad Is Dieselgate 2.0 Going to Get?
The EPA hasn’t gone as far as accusing FCA of building a “defeat device” as it did when it accused VW of skirting regulations. But if the agency is right, FCA could pay a penalty of up to $44,500 per truck that has the cheating software in it. That’s a whopping $4.5 billion total, plus FCA could also face a backlash as its customers file lawsuits over being duped into buying vehicles that spew too many pollutants.
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