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Fiat Chrysler to pay $800M in US over inaccurate diesel emissions data

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will pay out $800 million in fines and compensation after reaching settlements on suits brought against it by U.S. government authorities and customers over understated exhaust emissions figures affecting models driven by about 100,000 customers. However, the company denied any deliberate attempt to falsify data.

The automaker said it will update software to cut emissions from the affected cars through a recall and pay an average of $2,800 compensation to eligible customers, though no physical modifications to affected cars would be necessary. The engine performance and economy of the affected models in question, the 2014-2016 Ram 1500 pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs equipped with 3-liter EcoDiesel V-6 engines, would not change, the company said.

"The settlements do not change the company's position that it did not engage in any deliberate scheme to install defeat devices to cheat emissions tests. Further, the consent decree and settlement agreements contain no finding or admission with regard to any alleged violations of vehicle emissions rules," Fiat Chrysler said in a statement.

The company said the total cost of the suits was in line with the financial charge it had made allowances for in the third quarter of 2018 to cover damages it expected would arise from the case. About half of the total sum will go to U.S. federal and state authorities that had also been pursuing the company, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice and the California Air Resources Board.