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Three people charged in Fiat Chrysler emissions scandal

Three people charged in Fiat Chrysler emissions scandal
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Three people have been charged in connection to claims Fiat Chrysler cheated on emissions tests, the Justice Department announced Tuesday. 

The federal government alleges that Sergio Pasini and Gianluca Sabbioni of Italy and Emanuele Palma of Michigan purposefully calibrated vehicle engines to produce lower emissions of nitrogen oxides during testing and higher emissions when they were being driven in the real world. 

Pasini and Sabbioni were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Clean Air Act, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six counts of violating the Clean Air Act. 

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Palma was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and to violate the Clean Air Act, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, six counts of violating the Clean Air Act, and two counts of making false statements to investigators. 

Each of the conspiracy to defraud and violate the Clean Air Act charges carries up to five years in prison, the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges carry up to 20 years in prison, the Clean Air Act violation charges carry up to two years in prison and the false statement charges carry up to five years in prison. 

According to the Justice Department, Palma had previously been charged, while Pasini and Sabbioni had not. 

In 2019, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay nearly $500 million to settle claims that it used software to cheat on emissions tests, and recalled more than 100,000 diesel vehicles. 

The company pleaded not guilty and the EPA did not submit a finding of wrongdoing under the agreement.

Nitrogen oxides are a family of poisonous gases that are emitted during normal automobile operation. They can react with other compounds to form smog.