Fiat Chrysler under criminal probe over diesel emissions

Fiat Chrysler under criminal probe over diesel emissions

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is under a federal criminal investigation by the Justice Department over allegations that its cars cheated on diesel emissions, Bloomberg reports.

The news of the Justice probe came a day after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Fiat Chrysler of using software on 104,000 vehicles sold in the United States to bypass emissions tests.

The vehicles at issue are the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 models.

ADVERTISEMENT

It isn’t clear if Justice plans to criminally charge Fiat Chrysler or its employees, nor where the investigation stands, Bloomberg said.

Numerous officials at Volkswagen are facing criminal charges stemming from the ongoing probe into its cheating on emissions tests. That scandal has cost Volkswagen about $20 billion worldwide.

Both automakers have been accused of programming vehicles to emit less pollution during official tests than they do on the road. Volkswagen has admitted to the cheating, while Fiat Chrysler has so far denied the allegations.

“We are confident that no one at FCA committed any fraud or tried not to be compliant,” Fiat Chrysler Chairman Silvio Marchionne told reporters Thursday. “We may be technically deficient but not immoral. We never installed any defeat device.”

Fiat Chrysler could face more than $4.6 billion in EPA fines from the scandal, although it would likely to settle on a lower amount.