Report: U.S. Wants FCA to Recall 104,000 Vehicles to Settle Emissions Suit

Justice Department makes offer to settle emissions claims reminiscent of scandal that erupted over Volkswagen.

Uli Deck/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The U.S. Justice Department would settle its emissions-fraud suit against Fiat Chrysler if the auto manufacturer agreed to recall 104,000 vehicles and pay a fine, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The proposal, made to the Italian-American carmaker last week, outlined what FCA would need to do to make amends and ensure further violations of environmental rules would not reoccur, according to a copy of the settlement offer obtained by the news agency.

The settlement would have to include "very substantial civil penalties" big enough to discourage future violations that reflect the seriousness of the charges, lawyers for the federal agency wrote to FCA attorneys, Bloomberg said.

The offer involves resolving civil violations of clean-air rules detailed in a May 23 complaint. The Justice Department contends FCA used illegal software to cheat emissions tests while its diesel vehicles surpassed allowable pollution levels while operating on roadways.

It would not put to rest a federal criminal probe into FCA related to the emissions, Bloomberg said.

The case involves diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs and Ram 1500 pickups from model years 2014 to 2016.

The case is reminiscent of the one against Volkswagen, which admitted it had installed cheating devices on roughly 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Unlike VW, FCA has denied intentionally doing anything wrong.