Bosch to pay $131 million to settle US diesel emissions claims

Ram trucks are seen on a sales lot

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will pay out roughly US$800 million ($1.1 billion) in fines, fixes and compensation to settle claims some of its diesel engines cheated their way past emissions regulations.

The settlement, which is expected to be formally announced Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, is the second between the U.S. government and an automaker over diesel emissions-cheating allegations.

However, under the terms of the settlement, no admission of guilt is required from Fiat Chrysler.

The specific vehicles to be recalled include diesel-powered Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee from the 2014-2016 model years.

The settlement resolves allegations that FCA used illegal software to get about 100,000 diesel trucks past laboratory emissions inspections and onto US roads.

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The settlement includes fines and more than $300 million in "consumer relief" and requires Fiat Chrysler to establish a recall program offering motorists an approved plan for modification their emissions systems. VW was found to have colluded with Bosch to pass US emissions only while its vehicles sensed they were being tested by federal agencies, while otherwise they operated in a completely different driving mode that polluted up to 40 times above the legal limit. Four months later, the Justice Department sued on the EPA's behalf alleging that software on diesel engines allowed them to emit more pollution on the road than during EPA lab tests.

Fiat Chrysler will agree to corporate governance reforms meant to prevent future emissions violations under the agreement, the person said. It has already set aside about $810 million to cover settlements and other costs stemming from the diesel matter.

Bosch must "refuse to accommodate requests for software development and programming that could result in the installation of defeat device software", the New York Attorney General's Office said as part of the settlement. The company says the update won't have any effect on "average fuel economy, drivability, durability or refinement".

The Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in May 2017, accusing the company of using so-called defeat devices to mask pollution levels of its vehicles so they would pass government tests. The Fiat Chrysler settlement does not resolve any criminal allegations, according to Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark.

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